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THE LIBRARY 

OF 

THE UNIVERSITY 
OF CALIFORNIA 

LOS ANGELES 



REGINALD HENNESSEY 

ART BOOKS 8325 Campion Or 

Los Angeles, Calif. 90045 



THE 



VOLUME I. 



LONDON 

PBINTBD BY SPOTTISWOODB AND CO. 
NEW-STBEET SQCABB 




; 



? 



THE HISTORY 



OF 



THE ROYAL ACADEMY OF ARTS 



FROM ITS FOUNDATION IN 1768 TO THE PRESENT TIME. 



WITH BIOGRAPHICAL NOTICES OF ALL THE MEMBERS. 



BY WILLIAM SANDBY. 



IN TWO VOLUMES. 
VOL. I. 



LONDON: 

LONGMAN, GREEN, LONGMAN, ROBERTS, & GREEN. 

1862. 



V 



Art 
Library 



TO 

HER MOST GRACIOUS MAJESTY 

THE QUEEN, 

THE PATRON OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY OF ARTS, 

THE FOLLOWING 

HISTORY OF THAT INSTITUTION, 
FOUNDED BY HER MAJESTY'S ILLUSTBIOUS ANCESTOR 

KING GEOEGE THE THIHD, 
AND NOW FOSTERED BY HER GRACIOUS PROTECTION, 

is, WITH HER MAJESTY'S PERMISSION, 

MOST HUMBLY DEDICATED 
BY 

HER MAJESTY'S MOST LOYAL, DEVOTED, AND HUMBLE SERVANT 
WILLIAM SANDBT. 






15C8027 



PKEFACE. 



TT is scarcely necessary to offer an explanation or an 
apology for the appearance of a History of the 
Eoyal Academy of Arts an institution which has 
endured for nearly a century, and has been the centre 
around which the most eminent professors of the arts 
in this country have been gathered during that long 
period. 

My own surprise is that an account of the Royal 
Academy, combined with notices of its members, has 
riot been published long since ; and it was only after 
continued expectancy that such a work would be 
written by an abler hand, that I ventured to undertake 
it feeling that every year's delay would make the 
task more unsatisfactory, and the information, as to the 
early part of the history, less accurate. 

Still, I should have been glad if a member of the 
Academy, or, if not a professional artist, at least one 
deserving the name of a connoisseur, had undertaken 
the work, rather than one who, while regarding it as 
a labour of love, can lay no claim to a technical 
knowledge of art, and whose professional occupations 
have only admitted of his devoting the leisure hours 
of each day to the pleasant task of tracing the history 



viii PREFACE 

and progress of an institution which has been the 
means of affording so much gratification to the lovers 
of the arts, and of conferring so many important 
advantages upon the professional artists of this country. 

The statements frequently circulated adverse and 
prejudicial to the Eoyal Academy apparently arising 
from a wrong impression as to the nature of its con- 
stitution, or from ignorance of its proceedings have, 
at length, impelled me, however, to endeavour to write 
its history, in the hope that, by giving a simple record 
of facts relating to its career in the past, I might 
remove some of the unkind and undeserved opposition 
to which it has been exposed, in the future. 

Before commencing my work, I deemed it necessary 
to solicit permission to consult the records of the 
Academy ; and, although I was personally unknown to 
the President and Council, their consent was at once 
given, without any reservation. Several of the members, 
to whom I have applied for information as to their own 
personal history, have also most kindly aided me in 
the biographical part of my work. To the President 
and Council, to these gentlemen, and to the Eegistrar, 
who afforded me every needful facility in obtaining access 
to, and explanation of, the documents in his charge, I 
beg to tender my grateful acknowledgements. 

The plan of the work scarcely requires explanation. 
I have first endeavoured to show the state of anarchy 
and confusion into which the old Art Societies, preceding 
the foundation of the Eoyal Academy, had fallen, at 
the time when it was established; and I have then 
divided the subsequent history into periods being 
the term of each Presidentship in order that I might 



PREFACE ix 

thus group together in successive chapters, as far as 
possible, the history of the members, with that of the 
Academy, in each stage of its progress. 

The biographical notices have somewhat the dictionary 
form, which I have adopted to condense the facts con- 
tained in them as much as possible, and to facilitate 
reference. The information contained in several of 
these has been derived from the detailed memoirs 
published separately of the more distinguished artists; 
in others from notices which have appeared in various 
works and periodicals, some of older, and some of 
modern date ; and several of the later memoirs are 
based upon information obtained by direct communica- 
tion with the living originals. 

It is right that I should state that the members of 
the Eoyal Academy are in no way responsible for 
any opinions, statements, or suggestions contained in 
this book ; and that, when speaking of the character 
of the works of artists, whether deceased or living, I 
have endeavoured to confirm or correct my own 
opinions by the estimate which more competent judges 
have formed of them. 

In a work containing more than two hundred biogra- 
phical notices of men, many of whom have lived in 
comparative seclusion, and also giving details relating to 
the history of art in England during a whole century, 
I can scarcely hope to have avoided some errors and 
inaccuracies, amidst the conflicting statements I have 
so often had to reconcile. For such faults as I fear 
there may be, I must crave the indulgence of the reader. 
It has often been impossible to avoid some slight 
repetitions, when writing the history of the Academy, 



x PREFACE 

and of its members, in separate chapters, and when 
recapitulating the results of alterations and arrangements, 
made at different periods, and recorded as they occurred. 
It seemed to me preferable to lay myself open to this 
charge rather than to give the reader the trouble of 
referring, by foot-notes, from one chapter to another. 
The Appendices will be found to contain many interest- 
ing particulars connected with the laws and regulations 
of the Royal Academy and its schools, and also in 
relation to the personal labours of the members ; and 
the Index will, it is hoped, guide the reader to the 
principal contents of these volumes. 

LONDON : 
April 24, 1862. 




CONTENTS 



THE FIEST VOLUME. 



CHAPTER I. 

THE EARLY HISTORY OF THE FINE ARTS IN ENGLAND. 

Influence of Art The English School a comparatively Modern Creation 
Causes of its Tardy Development - Notices of Art and Artists in the Saxon 
and Norman Periods The Foreign Schools The Effects of the Invention of 
Printing and of the Reformation upon Art Its Condition in England subse- 
quent to the Reformation Charles I. as a Patron of the Fine Arts The 
Georgian Era Patronage of Foreign Artists by the English Sovereigns Con- 
noisseurship Portrait Painting Decorations of Ceilings, &c. Sign Painters 
The Characteristics of the English School PAGE 1 



CHAPTER II. 

EARLY ACADEMIES OF ART IN ENGLAND. 

The Necessity and Advantages of the Study of Art The Ancient Guilds of 
Art The "Museum Minervse" in Charles L's Reign John Evelyn's Plan for 
an Academy of Art Private Academies established by Sir G. Kneller, Sir J. 
Thornhill, and Hogarth Offer of Aid in Founding an Art Academy made by 
the Society of Dilettanti Project of a Public Academy of the Arts in 1753 
Nesbitt's " Essay on the Necessity of a Royal Academy " in 1765 Tho Duko 
of Richmond's School of Design The Exhibition of Pictures painted for the 
Foundling Hospital The First General Exhibition of Pictures in 1760 The 
First Society of Artists The seceding "Free Society of Artists" Apology for 
the Charge for Admission to the Exhibition by Dr. Johnson Strife and Dis- 
sension in the " Incorporated Society of Artists of Great Britain " Resignation 
of the Original Director* . . 17 



CONTENTS OF 



CHAPTER III. 

ORIGIN AND FOUNDATION OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY, 1768. 

Royal Patronage of Art solicited Favourable Reception of the Artists' 
Memorial by George III. Plan of the Royal Academy Instrument of its 
Institution Obligation signed by its First Members Election of Officers 
and Professors First Public Announcement of its Foundation The Fate 
of the Incorporated Society of Artists The Diploma The Royal Favour 
and Bounty bestowed on the Academy, and its Influence on Art The Limita- 
tion of the Number of the Royal Academicians to Forty The Example 
of Foreign Academies in this respect Restriction of Members from exhi- 
biting their Works elsewhere than at the Academy The Advantages of the 
Exhibition to Non-Members The Question as to the Utility of Academies of 
Art The Characteristics of the English School .... PAGE 45 



CHAPTER IV. 

THE FOUNDATION MEMBERS OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY . .72 

CHAPTER V. 

THE ROYAL ACADEMY UNDER THE PRESIDENCY OF SIR JOSHUA REYNOLDS, 
1768-1792 124 

Opening of the Royal Academy Address of the President The Schools 
Election of Associate-Engravers The Annual Exhibitions Appropriation 
of its Funds Lectures Appointment of Associates, a Librarian, and Hono- 
rary Members The Early Home of the Academy The Annual Dinner 
Proposal made by the Academicians to decorate St. Paul's The Society of 
Arts The Pension Fund established The Pall-Mall Exhibitions until 1779 
The Removal to Somerset House, 1780 Discontinuance of Aid from the 
Privy Purse Complaints as to Exclusion of Pictures Peter Pindar and 
other Satirists attack the Academy Boydell's Shakspeare Gallery Internal 
Troubles Reynolds's Resignation of the Office of President, and Re-accept- 
ance of it His last Discourse Changes in the Academy by Death of 
original, and Election of new Members Succession of Officers The Ex- 
hibitions from 1781 to 1791 . . . . . . .124 



THE FIRST VOLUME xiii 



CHAPTER VI. 

ROYAL ACADEMICIANS ELECTED DURING THE PRESIDENCY OF SIR J. 
REYNOLDS PAGE 176 



CHAPTER VII. 

ASSOCIATES ELECTED DURING THE PRESIDENCY OF SIR JOSHUA REYNOLDS, 
WHO DID NOT SUBSEQUENTLY BECOME ROYAL ACADEMICIANS . . 230 



CHAPTER VIII. 

THE ROYAL ACADEMY UNDER THE PRESIDENCY OF BENJAMIN WEST, 1792-1820 

Qualifications of West for the Office of President His Addresses The Fate 
of Proctor the Sculptor Publication of Bromley's "History of the Fine 
Arts" Anthony Pasquin's Attacks on the Royal Academy Royal Warrant 
for the Appointment of a Treasurer to succeed Sir William Chambers 
Finances of the Academy Pension Fund established Dispute between the 
General Assembly and the Council Barry's Dismissal from the Office of 
Professor of Painting and from the Academy Grant towards the Fund for 
the Exigencies of the State Laws as to Students amended Award of 
Pensions to Widows of deceased Members Illness of the King, as it affected 
West, and the Progress of the Arts Temporary Resignation of the President 
His Plan for a National Association of Art Artists' Volunteer Corps 
Prince Hoare's Academic Annals and Foreign Correspondence Establishment 
of the (Old) Water Colour Society and the British Institution John 
Landseei's Appeal for full Academic Honours for Engravers Varnishing 
Days Financial Arrangements amended in 1809 Complimentary Presents 
made by the Academy Premiums offered by the British Institution The 
Commemoration of Reynolds, 1813 Waterloo Memorial proposed Canova's 
Visit to England Exclusion of G. H. Harlowe from the Royal Academy > 
Privileges of Students, and Increase of Allowances to travelling Students 
Pensions augmented Commemoration of Fiftieth Anniversary Last Years 
and Death of the President Changes among the Members and Officers of the 
Academy Its Financial Position The Exhibitions . . . 248 



xiv CONTENTS OF THE FIRST VOLUME 



CHAPTER IX. 

ROYAL ACADEMICIANS ELECTED DURING THE PRESIDENCY OF BENJAMIN 
WEST . PAGE 290 



CHAPTER X. 

ASSOCIATES ELECTED DURING THE PRESIDENTSHIP OF BENJAMIN WEST, WHO 
DID NOT SUBSEQUENTLY BECOME ROYAL ACADEMICIANS . . 395 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

IN '. 

THE FIRST VOLUME. 



THE ROYAL ACADEMY, 1862 : being the East Wing of the National Gallery, 

Trafalgar Square . Frontispiece 

THE OLD ACADEMY in Peter's Court, St. Martin's Lane . . . PAGE 23 
Sra JOSHTTA REYNOLDS, P.R.A. 124 

(From the Portrait by Himself, in possession of the Royal Academy.) 

VIEW OF THE OLD ROYAL ACADEMY in Pall Mall, 1769-1779 . . .125 
f From a Drawing in the Print Room of the British Museum.) 

PORTION OF OLD SOMERSET HOUSE, occupied by the Royal Academy, 1771-9 139 
(From an aquatints Print by W. Moss.) 

THE ROYAL ACADEMY in New Somerset House, 17801837 .... 165 

BENJAMIN WEST, P.R.A 249 

(From the Portrait by Sir Thomas Lawrence, P.R.A.) 



THE HISTORY 



OF THE 



KOYAL ACADEMY OF ARTS 

CHAPTER I. 

THE EARLY HISTORY OF THE FINE ARTS IN ENGLAND 

Influence of Art The English School a comparatively Modern Creation 
Causes of its tardy Development Notices of Art and Artists in the Saxon 
and Norman Periods The Foreign Schools The Effects of the Invention 
of Printing and of the Reformation upon Art Its Condition in England 
subsequent to the Reformation Charles I. as a Patron of the Fine Arts 
TJie Georgian Era Patronage of Foreign Artists by the English Sovereigns 
Connoisseurship Portrait Painting Decorations of CeHinys, SfC. 
Sign Painters The Characteristics of the English School. 

THE history of Art, in any of its branches, is an im- 
portant and interesting subject ; for it is in reality 
little less than the history of the taste and moral refine- 
ment of the people, their advancement in civilisation, and 
in the appreciation of all that is beautiful and true. In 
proportion to the development of these principles of 
progress, in the same degree have the arts flourished ; 
and those who wish to observe the growth of the one, 
ought not indifferently to pass by the consideration of the 
other. When once the love of art is created in a nation, 
it does not rest satisfied till it has attained to the possession 
and enjoyment of its noblest performances ; and thus the 
advance towards perfection, and the healthy influences of 

VOL. I. B 



2 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [Cn. I. 

elevated and refined feelings, are combined together to 
produce the happiest results upon individuals and com- 
munities. It has been truly stated that a taste for what 
is beautiful is one great step to a taste for what is good. 
Kings and statesmen may therefore regard the encourage- 
ment of the arts at home, to be as much a part of their 
duty as the defence of their country in the field, or the 
maintenance of its interests in the cabinet. The pictured 
morals of the work of art charm our minds, and, through 
our eyes, correct our hearts. Pictures, it has been well 
said, are the books of the unlettered, and they are to be 
read as books, the work of one mind addressed to 
another mind, it being, however, necessary, in order to 
derive real instruction from them, that the language in 
which they are written should be understood. 

It was thus with the influence of Art. in England. So 
long as it was unappreciated by the people, so long as 
it remained the refined and ennobling taste of the few, 
its effects were but limited ; but when it came at 
length to be made known to, and understood by, the 
many, then the habits and tastes of the people generally 
improved, and so will continue to improve, in proportion 
to the extension of its pure and gracious influences. 

Yet it was not till a comparatively recent period that 
England could boast of a native School of Painting; 
indeed, a single century embraces the period during which 
it can be said that the British School of Art has been in 
existence ; and as we now contemplate the powers of the 
artists of this country, the number of the professors and 
patrons of the fine arts, and the influence which is thus 
exercised over the tastes and tendencies of the people, we 
cannot but rejoice at the progress which a century has 
effected in the advancement of the fine arts in England. 
The time has long since passed away when continental 
critics were able to suggest (as was done by the Abbe du 
Bos, Winckelmann, and others) that the frigidity of climate 
in this country, operating upon the imagination of its 



CH. L] EAELY ENGLISH ART 3 

inhabitants, hindered that warm and vigorous exertion of 
fancy which enabled the Italians of old to rise to fame. 
It now needs no argument to prove that in the works of 
the English school there is certainly not less originality of 
thought, or variety of execution, or difference in mode of 
composition, than in any school of art in any age or 
country, if we except, indeed, the most celebrated masters 
of Italy. 

It is, nevertheless, both interesting and profitable to 
trace the progress of the arts among us, and to observe 
the causes which have operated to retard the formation 
of anything like a distinctive English School of Art until 
so late a period in the history of this country. True it is 
that art, like the oak, grows but slowly and gradually to 
maturity and strength ; but while others of the handmaids 
of civilisation were gaining power among us, painting and 
the sister arts were centuries in developing their beneficial 
influence, and rose but tardily to the importance they 
have now attained. A brief review of the records and 
remains of art in England, which are scattered up and 
down in the history of the country, will help us in this 
inquiry. 

The antiquities which have been preserved to us of 
early British and Saxon times are sufficient to prove that 
architecture and sculpture were practised extensively, and 
that painting, or at least design, with simple light and 
shade, was then understood. During the Norman period, 
architecture underwent a still further development; but 
ecclesiastics (and these chiefly foreigners) designed the 
cathedrals, and painted the frescoes, the stained glass, and 
the missals which adorned the libraries and the halls of the 
abbeys and monasteries. Henry III. (121G-1272) was an 
earnest patron of the fine arts, founding cathedrals, and 
enriching them with sculpture and painting. It was at 
this period, and in the reign of Edward III. (A.D. 1327- 
1377), that the works in the Painted Chamber and St. 
Stephen's Chapel, Westminster, were executed. 

D 2 



4 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. I. 

A long blank interval succeeds, during which artists 
</nly copied the forms of saints and angels which had been 
transmitted from preceding generations, and entered upon 
the work of illuminations for missals and books of chivalry 
and romance, which eventually led the way to better 
things. There is a very curious portrait of Eichard II. 
(1377-99), preserved in an ancient diptych, the property 
of the Earl of Pembroke, which was exhibited at Man- 
chester in 1857, representing the King, with his patron 
saints (St. George and John the Baptist) on the one wing, 
and the ' Madonna and Child,' with angels, on the other. 
There is also a full-length portrait of this monarch, belong- 
ing to the Dean and Chapter, at Westminster ; but it is 
supposed to be a work of a later period. In the reign of 
Henry VI. (1422-1461), England possessed at least one 
celebrated native artist, in the person of William Austen, 
who, in executing the famous monument to Eichard de 
Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, in St. Mary's Church at 
Warwick, is considered to have rivalled his great con- 
temporaries in Italy, DonateUo and Grhiberti. In the 
reign of the next Henry (1485-1509), when painting had 
elevated Italy to the highest dignity among the nations, 
the arts in England found a more liberal patron than 
in any previous British monarch ; the painters, Jan 
Mabuse and Hans Holbein, were employed by him, and 
the famous Chapel of Hemy VII. at Westminster was 
erected. Most of the portraits of the illustrious personages 
of the reign of Henry VIII. we owe to Holbein ; and an 
invitation was also given by the same monarch to Eaffaelle, 
requesting him to visit the English court. Although this 
proved unsuccessful, several of his pupils, and other 
Italian artists, found employment in this country during 
the reign of the last of the Henries. Sir Anthony More 
was the principal painter to Queen Mary ; and in the 
reign of Elizabeth (1558-1603), two English artists, 
Nicholas Hilliard, and his pupil, Isaac Oliver, distinguished 
themselves as miniature painters. 



CH. L] FOREIGN SCHOOLS OF ART 5 

Abroad, the chief glory of the arts was in connection 
with the teaching of religion. The first specimens of 
Christian art were found in the Eoman catacombs ; next 
came the mosaics of the Italian and Sicilian cities, and 
the illumination of books of devotion. The Byzantines 
followed with their paintings on wood of the ' Madonna 
and Child,' and figures of the saints. Then began the 
revival of the arts in the formation of the Italian schools, 
framed on Byzantine models, the Siennese beginning 
with Oderico in 1213 ; the Florentine with Cimabue and 
Giotto in 1276 ; the Umbrian in 1368 ; the Eoman, re- 
presented by Eaffaelle and his followers, in 1483 ; and 
a host of others of less note, which multiplied and pros- 
pered until the period of their decline in the sixteenth 
century. These are, however, remarkable for their 
separate and independent development, which reached its 
culminating point in Eafiaelle and his illustrious contem- 
poraries. While the genius of the Italian artists was thus 
gradually improving the art of painting, there were in 
Germany the early masters of Cologne (1297-1357), and 
the later ones, with Albert Durer at their head, in 1471, 
the Flemish school beginning with Van Eyck (1370) ; 
the Dutch with Eembrandt (1606) and his followers ; and 
the French and Spanish schools, each attaining to the 
zenith of their power about the same time with those we 
have mentioned. 

It has been observed that the decline of painting was 
simultaneous with the invention and the rapid develop- 
ment of the powers of the printing press. A more effec- 
tive means of diffusing knowledge was thus set in action, 
and by it art was deprived of its higher and nobler aims 
as the chief instructor of mankind. To the principles of 
the Eefonnation 1 also have been attributed the tardy 
growth in England of the taste for art which seemed to 



1 See Barry's " Inquiry into the Obstructions to the Acquisition of the 
Arts iu England." 



6 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. I. 

have been previously awakened. Painting was no longer 
employed as one of the chief moral and religious instruc- 
tors of the mass of the people, and the preachers of religion 
no longer attempted to enforce their doctrines and pre- 
cepts by its aid ; and there is little doubt that the removal 
of all the images and paintings from the churches which 
then took place was inimical to the prospects of art at the 
time. Queen Elizabeth showed little favour to its pro- 
fessors ; and her personal objection to any illustration of 
religious truths by pictorial representation may not unna- 
turally have led to the impression that the Eeformation, 
which she so strongly advocated, was equally opposed to 
all productions of art. Such, however, is very far from 
being the case ; for the experience of modern times shows 
that the Reformed faith, if it has checked the almost 
exclusive application of art to religious topics, and the 
reproduction of conventional forms for devotional pur- 
poses, has opened to it an endless field in the varied 
materials which the freedom of thought, liberty of inquiry, 
and extension of general knowledge will always continue 
to discover and suggest. Nor, indeed, is there any sub- 
ject so replete with incidents picturesque, graphic, various, 
and touching, as that which the history of the Bible, and 
especially the life of the Divine Founder of the Christian 
faith, affords to the painter. It was the mere superstitious 
repetition of pictures for the purposes of worship which 
the Reformation condemned, not the representation of any 
actual event in that most true and characteristic chronicle 
of the history of mankind. 

But, with such influences at work, it became necessary 
to create a new taste for art in England. There were no 
longer commonwealths, as of old time, seeking to record 
by its aid their fame and progress for posterity to admire 
and emulate ; churches and convents no longer called for 
the best energies of the painter to adorn the shrine to 
which myriads of pilgrims thronged, or where devotees 
worshipped, with representations of saintly beauty or 



CH. I.] CHARLES I. A PATRON OF THE ARTS 7 

faith or zeal ; and art had, therefore, henceforth to depend 
upon the individual patronage of the wealthy classes until 
it could awaken public sympathy for classical or religious 
subjects. Hence its first support, under this altered state 
of things, was in the lord or the rich citizen desiring to 
adorn his mansion, in the first instance, probably, with 
family portraits, but, as his taste improved, with other 
works more distinctly the productions of high artistic 
genius and imagination. Portrait painting was the branch 
of art which Queen Elizabeth principally encouraged ; and 
her example was followed by her subjects, and by her 
successor, James I. (1603-1625), who employed Paul 
Vansomer, Jansen, and Myttens, all Dutch artists, and the 
English miniature painter, Peter Oliver. Nicholas Stone, 
the sculptor, was also eminent in this reign. 

It is to the reign of Charles I. (1625-1649) that we must 
turn for the brightest page in the early history of art in 
England. Then it was that the first royal collection of 
pictures was formed, and that the sovereign became truly 
the liberal patron of art. The Eoyal Gallery (formed partly 
of the pictures gathered together by Henry VIII. and by 
Prince Henry, and subsequently enriched by the assem- 
blage of works made by the Earl of Arundel, by presents 
of pictures from foreign courts, and by purchases judi- 
ciously made by King Charles himself) numbered 460 
pictures, including the famous cartoons of RafFaelle and 
Mantegna, and many works by Eembrandt, Correggio, 
Titian, Rubens, Paul Veronese, and other eminent masters. 
These were intended only as the commencement of a 
much larger collection ; and agents of the King travelled 
over the continent, paying handsomely for the pictures 
they bought. Many of these works were destroyed in the 
fire at the Old Palace of Whitehall, and many more were 
dispersed during the Commonwealth. To the visit of 
Rubens, as the ambassador of the Infanta of Spain, and 
the King's cordial welcome to the illustrious artist, we owe 
that noble work, ' The Apotheosis of King James,' painted 



8 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. I. 

by him for the ceiling of the banqueting-hall of Whitehall. 
For this work he received 3000 and the honour of 
knighthood. Another celebrated painter, Vandyke, who 
had studied under Eubens, was admitted into the ranks of 
the royal painters, and was also knighted by Charles I. ; 
while at the same time English artists received gracious 
and liberal encouragement. Among these the principal 
were William Dobson, Eobert Walker, and George 
Jameson, eminent as portrait painters ; Francis Barlow, 
known by his pictures of hawking and birds on the wing ; 
Gibson, the dwarf, who drew heads admirably in water- 
colours; and Nicholas ("old") Stone, an excellent colourist. 
The constant employment given by the King to Inigo 
Jones, the architect, was another instance of his good 
taste, and his desire to promote the cause of art. It was 
in this reign, also, as we shall have occasion to mention 
more in detail hereafter, that the first attempt was made 
to establish a public school of art. 

The troublous times which followed these happy days 
of poor Charles I. swept away much of the impulse he 
had given to the cultivation of a taste for art. The pic- 
tures he had collected were sold, and depreciated as worse 
than valueless ; the taste for painting was regarded as 
sinful; monuments were looked upon by the eyes of 
Puritans either as idolatries or marks of pride and vain- 
glory ; and when a reaction followed the stern severities 
of the Commonwealth at the period of the Eestoration 
(1660), we trace the influence of the dissolute spirit of the 
times in the meretricious graces of the beauties of the 
court of Charles II., as preserved to us in the works of 
Sir Peter Lely at Hampton Court, who succeeded Van- 
dyke as the court painter, but did not equal him .in ability. 
Antonio Verrio, the painter of the allegories on ceilings, 
which came into fashion at this time, and the Vander- 
veldes, the marine painters, were employed in England 
during this reign ; and Samuel Cooper was a native minia- 
ture painter of great merit. In architecture we find the 



CH. I.] PREFERENCE SHOWN TO FOREIGN ARTISTS 9 

single illustrious name of Sir Christopher Wren, the archi- 
tect of St. Paul's ; and in sculpture those of Colley Gibber 
and Grinling Gibbons. 

The next step in this brief retrospect brings Sir Godfrey 
Kneller before us, in 1674, as the successor of Lely. He 
continued to paint portraits of all the illustrious personages 
till the time of George I., and was long the favourite court 
painter, having been knighted by William III. and created 
a baronet by George I. John Eiley also received some 
degree of notice from James II. and from William and 
Mary ; and at the same time a large number of foreign 
artists, whose names are now forgotten, or very little 
known, were finding lucrative employment in England. 
In Queen Anne's reign the decline of good painting and 
the practice of forging copies of works of eminent artists 
are noticeable ; and when George I. came to the throne 
(1714) the prospect of raising the position of artists, or 
of improving the public taste for art in England, seemed as 
remote as it had ever been. 

The main cause of this melancholy state of things was 
to be found in the practice of preferring foreign painters 
to the only lucrative appointments for artists in the gift of 
the Crown, and thus leading all other patrons of art to 
suppose that nothing but mediocrity could be looked for 
among our native artists. The absence of any collections 
of pictures hindered any correction of this erroneous im- 
pression by a comparison of the productions of the one 
with the other ; while the English artists also laboured 
under the disadvantage of being unable to study the works 
of the great masters of the Italian schools. It is greatly 
to their honour and credit that, notwith standing their 
difficulties in self-improvement, and the unfair prejudice 
against them on the part of English art-patrons, they at 
length overcame, by dint of their own energy and by the 
power of their own genius, the depreciation of their 
talents so unfairly excited by the example of the highest 
personages in the realm. The succession of court 



10 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. I. 

painters domiciled in England, and monopolising court 
patronage, gradually became smaller as they found them- 
selves unable to compete in talent with the English artists. 
Laguerre, the French painter of allegories for ceilings ; 
Canaletto, the gifted Venetian landscape painter; Dahl, 
Netzcher, and Denner, the Dutch portrait painters, are 
among the last of the immigrants from abroad. Charles 
Jervas, Jonathan Eichardson, and Sir James Thornhill, 
painters, and Hawkesmoor and Gibbs, the architects, are 
added to the list of English artists in the reign of George I. 
(1714-1727). Many of these continued their labours in 
the reign of his successor (1727-1760); and to these 
must then be added Hudson, the master of Eeynolds ; 
Francis Hayman, the historical painter ; Samuel Scott and 
George Lambert, landscape painters ; Knapton and Cotes, 
famous in portraiture ; the illustrious William Hogarth ; 
and most of the artists who will hereafter be mentioned 
in connection with the foundation of the Eoyal Academy, 
who were then rising into notice. 1 

From this cursory glance at the history of art in Eng- 
land we are able to discover why so little progress was 
made in the formation of a native school of painting until 
such a very recent period. As far as its advancement 
depended upon the fostering care of the government, the 
whole interval between the reign of Charles I. and the 
commencement of the reign of George HI. is little more 
than a blank. In literature and science, as well as in 
art, some great characters have thrown a lustre upon the 
dark periods of history by their exertions and attain- 
ments, the more conspicuous, perhaps, in the absence of 
all public encouragement. Thus Milton, Wren, Barrow, 
Locke, Newton, and Flamsteed, rise up as illustrious 



1 A more detailed account of the "Anecdotes of Painting in England," 

foreign artists who were practising and in W. B. S. Taylor's "Origin, 

in England in early times, and of Progress, and present Condition of 

the native professors of the arts, the Fine Arts in Great Britain." 

will be found in Horace Walpole's 2 vols. 8vo. 1841. 



CH. I] CONNOISSEURSIIIP 11 

examples ; and Addison, Steele, Prior, Bolingbroke, 
Walpole, Swift, Pope, and Halley, are other instances 
in which men of talent rose to eminence without re- 
quiring the encouragement of government. A golden 
chain links together in unbroken succession some few 
men in each generation whose talent was sufficiently 
conspicuous to prevent the reproach of there being any 
time when England had no representative of art-talent 
among its own people. But from the little inclination 
evinced by the greater number of the English sovereigns 
to foster the arts, a popular taste for them was not created 
in the nation generally ; and when the patronage of the 
aristocracy began to be turned into this channel, the ex- 
ample of the court in choosing foreigners, even as portrait 
painters, was generally followed. 

It was not, however, that there was no patronage of 
art, or taste for it, in England ; on the contrary, at the 
beginning of the Georgian era there was a perfect rage of 
connoisseurship ; but it was injudicious, and itself created 
many of the obstacles to the true advancement of art. It 
was the picture dealer who was in the ascendant, who 
imported and sold at large prices copies, imitations, and 
studies by obscure artists of all the renowned works of 
the artists of Italy and Flanders, giving to these produc- 
tions the names of the great masters of ancient art. 
Thus in Gwyn's "Essay on Design," &c., published in 
1749, it is said " We often hear of a sum given for a 
single work of an ancient master that equals the annual 
revenue of a gentleman's estate ; and sometimes in those 
cases the ignorance of the purchaser, or the knavery of 
the seller, imposes a copy of little value instead of an 
original." Indeed it is found at all times that a demand 
for certain articles of commerce at once creates the sup- 
ply; and as Baflaelles, Correggios, and Rembrandts are 
in request, so they are quickly made for sale ; and the 
ingenuity and skill of the manufacturers are exerted to 
the utmost to meet the required demand. This is done 



12 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. I. 

in two ways, by the conversion of genuine pictures of 
one master into spurious pictures attributed to another, 
and by bold and entire forgery. 

While thus a false taste was generated, and the limited 
patronage of art was unwisely exercised, it is also to the 
absence of any large schemes on the part of the govern- 
ment to foster the growth of native talent that the tardy 
development of the English school must be attributed. 
It is by such cultivation of the fine arts that kingdoms 
have acquired dignity and reputation ; and history, 
whether ancient or modern, shows how intimately such 
encouragement is connected with advancement in every- 
thing that is valuable in science, literature, and philo- 
sophy. Experience has proved that free governments 
such as that of England are most suitable to the produc- 
tion of native talents, to the maturity of the powers of the 
human mind, and to the growth of every species of excel- 
lence, since they only open to merit the prospect of reward 
and distinction. 

The absence of such encouragement in this country in 
former tunes, the exclusive patronage of foreign artists by 
the few who cared for art at all, and the rage of connois- 
seurs in collecting " old masters," many of them of most 
melancholy modern manufacture, led the English artists 
of the last century to endeavour to get a living by copying 
such works of excellence of this kind as they could obtain 
access to, and to imitate, as much as possible, the peculiari- 
ties of the older painters in their modern representations, 
both of persons and of English scenery. Thus portraits 
were painted in the positions and costumes depicted by the 
painters of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and land- 
scapes of our own country were constructed from prints, after 
the works of the old Dutch and French masters. Hogarth 
ridiculed and very properly this servile adaptation of 
so much that was inconsistent with our own national 
characteristics, and in all his graphic delineations drew 
from nature, employing no fictitious means for heightening 



CH. I.] PAINTERS OF SIGNS AND CEILINGS. 13 

the effect of his truthful representations. His men and 
women were just such as could have been seen in London 
streets in his time ; his backgrounds were sketches of 
familiar haunts of the people he represented ; and all was 
real and lifelike, because all was natural and true. What 
he accomplished for genre painting was effected by his 
contemporary, Paul Sandby, for landscape painting. He 
went to nature for his prototype, and thus drew real views 
of English scenery ; whereas his predecessors had com- 
posed their pictures in part from the scene represented, and 
partly from inserted " bits " and effects, copied from the 
older foreign artists, or else confined themselves to those 
elaborate topographical drawings of perspective views and 
bird's-eye panoramas which were in vogue at that period. 

One means of employment for painters for nearly a 
century after the Eestoration was the internal decoration 
of the royal palaces and the mansions of the nobility by 
an adaptation of the plafond painting which was so 
popular in France under Louis XIV. We have mentioned 
Verrio and Laguerre, and even Eubens, as so employed ; 
and the chief occupation of Sir James Thornhill was the 
painting of walls and ceilings, for which he was paid by 
measurement, at so much per yard. Thus for the designs 
in the great hall of Greenwich Hospital he received 3 
per yard. Copyists were employed on an inferior scale, 
to fill up panels with landscapes and subjects from the old 
masters at forty or fifty shillings each, and this tended to 
depreciate the demand for works of a higher character. 
Many artists, and these men of ability, often found employ- 
ment in painting coach-panels with groups of allegorical 
figures, flowers, &c. Among them were included Hogarth, 
Catton, and Cipriani. 

Before the changes which took place in the general ap- 
pearance of London soon after the accession of George IH., 
caused by the acts of Parliament ordering the removal of 
obstructions from the public thoroughfares, the universal 
use of Signs, not only for taverns and ale-houses, but also 



14 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. I. 

for the shops of general tradesmen, proved the greatest 
resource of the English artists in obtaining employment. 
Addison 1 complains of the bad taste which many of these 
displayed. " There are daily absurdities hung out upon the 
sign-posts of this city, to the great scandal of foreigners, as 
well as those of our own country, who are curious spectators 
of the same. . . . Our streets are filled with ' Blue Boars,' 
' Black Swans,' and ' Eed Lions,' not to mention ' Flying 
Pigs,' and ' Hogs in Armour,' with many other creatures 
more extraordinary than any in the deserts of Africa." 2 
But all were not of this character ; for some of those painted 
by Catton, Wale, and Lamb, are described as bold and 
masterly works. The head, and sometimes the whole- 
length, figure of Shakespeare or other celebrities formed 
a frequent subject, and afforded ample scope for talent ; 
indeed, such paintings often attracted attention by their 
excellence as works of art. There was a market esta- 
blished for the sale of these signs in Harp Alley, Shoe 
Lane ; and at a somewhat later period than that to which 
we are now referring (17 62), an exhibition was made 3 by the 
" Society of Sign-painters " of " a most magnificent collec- 



1 " Spectator," No. 28, 2nd April, are ridiculous enough. No. 8 was 
1711. the ' Vicar of Bray,' an ass in a 

2 There is no doubt that heraldry feather-topped grizzle, bauds, and 
is the source whence these devices pudding sleeves. No. 9, ' The Irish 
were derived : the first three are Arms,' represents a pah- of thick legs 
plainly a boar, azure ; a lion, gules ; in white stockings and black gaiters. 
a swan, sable. Besides those de- No. 16, ' A Man ' personified by nine 
rived from heraldry (the arms fre- tailors at work. No. 19, ' Nobody 
quently of the landed proprietors in alias Somebody,' being the figure of 
each locality), many of the ancient an officer all head, arms, and legs, 
signs had a religious origin : as the so drawn as not to miss the body ; 
f Golden Cross/ the ' Lamb and Flag,' and its companion, ' Somebody alias 
or ' Agnus Dei,' &c. Portraits of Nobody,' with little head and huge 
famous personages and the reigning body, holding a staff with a great 
sovereign furnished another class ; air of importance. These last were 
while those emblematical of Inns attributed to Hogarth. The well- 
and of trades supplied an endless known sign of ' A man loaded with 
variety of subjects for the painter's mischief,' i. e. carrying a woman, a 
skill. magpie, and a monkey on his back, 

3 An account is given of the sub- was also there : and many others 
jects of the signs in the " London characterised by wit and humour. 
Register" for 17G2. Some of them 



CH. I.] CHARACTER OF THE ENGLISH SCHOOL 15 

tion of portraits, landscapes, flower-pieces, history-pieces, 
night-pieces, Scripture-pieces, &c., designed by the ablest 
masters, and executed by the best hands in these kingdoms.'' 
It was held " at the large room, the upper end of Bow 
Street, Covent Garden, nearly opposite the Playhouse 
Passage," and seems to have afforded much amusement 
at a time when exhibitions of pictures of any kind were 
a novelty. 1 

From these glimpses at the history of art in England 
we see that the time was yet to come when its professors 
should attain their rightful position, and be permitted to 
exercise their skill on objects worthy of the efforts of 
genius, and when they should receive something approach- 
ing an adequate reward for their labour. Yet amidst all 
the disadvantages under which it was called into existence, 
the English school, founded upon the feelings and require- 
ments of the age rather than upon any exalted theories of 
art, at once assumed the common-sense character of the 
people. Its professors devoted themselves to portraiture, 
to landscape, and the representation of scenes of domestic 
life. In these they have excelled ; and as the national 
taste improved, poetical and historical composition found 
its exponents and its patrons, as knowledge and refinement 
made progress among us. 

Thus it has come to pass that art mingles in the 
education, softens the labours, adds to the amusement, 
and is becoming the agreeable and elevating enjoyment of 
the many ; while it was in former days, and those not long 
distant, the exclusive privilege of the few. All who have 
some natural appreciation of colour, proportion, and 
harmony, can now store their memories with agreeable 
recollections, and their minds with images of beauty, as 
they pass through life, whether it be spent in town or 



1 This exhibition was planned by Exhibition. It was very successful, 

the Nonsense Club, and managed by and gavo no offence even to those 

Bonnel Thornton, who intended it whom it was intended to ridicule, 
as a joke, in opposition to the Artists' 



16 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [Cii. I. 

country. All may possess a painter's eye, though they 
may not be able to use a painter's brush ; and with it the 
objects of every landscape will group themselves in new 
forms of beauty. There will be new richness in every 
gleam of light, new solemnity in every deepening shade. 
So, too, when we understand the principles, and trace the 
history of architecture, we shall find in every stone in 
the ancient church or ruined castle or abbey, something 
by which we are drawn back into the long-forgotten past ; 
and every sculptured form will have its history or its 
power of awakening our sympathy or admiration. In 
proportion as such sources of pleasant and elevating 
thought are increased, and better appreciated, both as 
means of instruction and as sources of enjoyment, will be 
the extension of the genial influences of the arts, and the 
increase of employment for those artists who recognise the 
high purpose they have to accomplish. 



17 



CHAPTEE II. 

EARLY ACADEMIES OP AET IN ENGLAND 

The Necessity and Advantages of the Study of Art TJie Ancient Guikls of 
Art The "Museum Minervce" in Charles I. 's Reign John Evelyn's 
Plan for an Academy of Art Private Academies established by Sir G. 
Knetter, Sir J. Thornhitt, and Hogarth Offer of Aid in founding an Art 
Academy made by the Society of Dilettanti Project of a Public Academy 
of the Arts in 1753 Nesbitfs "Essay on the Necessity of a Royal Academy " 
in 1755 The Duke of Richmond's School of Design The Exhibition of 
Pictures painted for t/ie Foundling Hospital The First General Exhibition 
of Pictures in 1760 The First Society of Artists The seceding " Free 
Society of Artists" Apology for the Charge for Admission to the Exhibition 
by Dr. Johnson Strife and Dissension in the " Incorporated Society of 
Artists of Great Britain " Resignation of the Original Directors. 



study of the fine arts has a tendency more direct 
J- than any other branch of education to improve and 
elevate the mind and to purify and refine the taste ; 
and the better the arts become generally understood, the 
more will artists be stimulated to attain to higher excel- 
lence. For if the works they produce are to appeal to 
the moral feelings or the imagination of the beholder, to 
inspire him with a love of nature, or to impress upon his 
mind representations of transactions which have engaged 
the attention of mankind at other times than our own, 
the artist must himself have undergone a preparatory 
process of study, not only more detailed and technical, but 
also of the general principles of art, by which his own 
mind is enabled to suggest, as well as his skilful hand to 
execute, works which are to impress the minds and to open 
sources of enjoyment to others. On this subject Cousin ob- 
serves, that " every work of art, whatever may be its form, 
small or great, figured, sung, or uttered every work of art, 
VOL. i. c 



18 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [Cn. II. 

truly beautiful or sublime, throws the soul into a gentle or 
severe reverie that elevates it above grosser tastes. The emo- 
tion that the beautiful produces has a civilising influence ; 
it is the beneficent result that art procures for humanity." 

The practice of painting, when first extended beyond 
the cloister, was in a measure still dependent upon the 
monks for the knowledge of the preparation of the 
various pigments and vehicles, and often for the' supply of 
them. Subsequently the method of preparing his mate- 
rials became a part of the artist's education ; and during 
the middle ages the painters had their Guild, like other 
handicraftsmen, binding its members to keep the mystery 
of the profession, and regulating the conditions on which 
masters might instruct apprentices, who became their 
pupils for sometimes thirteen years, six of which were to 
be given exclusively to the manufacture of colours. Thus 
the members of these guilds communicated this know- 
ledge to their pupils ; but when these companies were 
done away with, and it was no longer compulsory to 
obtain instruction from the only source hitherto available, 
it became necessary to provide it in a new form, and in 
some other way, that those who possessed taste for art 
might be enabled to exercise it aright. Hence it will be 
found that it was about the period of the decline of these 
guilds that most of the Art-academies arose, for in fact 
they had become essential to its successful pursuit ; and it 
will be useful, ere we enter upon the account of the rise 
of the Royal Academy of Arts, to trace the efforts made 
by preceding generations in this country to meet this want, 
although, unhappily, they met with so little success. 

To Charles I. we owe the establishment of the first 
academy connected with the arts in England. It was 
founded in 1636, as the Museum Minervce. The patent 
of its erection is still extant in the Bolls' Office ; and the 
rules, orders, and plans of the institution were printed in 
the same year. The course of instruction embraced the 
arts, sciences, and foreign languages, mathematics, paint- 



CH. II.] EVELYN'S PLAN FOR AN ACADEMY 19 

ing, sculpture, architecture, riding, fortification, antiquities, 
and the science of medals, &c. None could be admitted 
into it but those who could prove themselves to be of the 
rank of gentlemen. Sir Francis Kynaston was appointed 
the first regent, and a coat of arms was granted to him 
and the professors of the academy in 1635. It was held 
in his house in Covent Garden, but only continued in 
operation for about five years, till the civil strife began. 
Although fruitless as a means of public art-education, 
it would have been of value if it had lasted long enough 
to educate one or two generations in the middle and 
upper classes of society in the principles and practice of 
the elegant and useful arts and sciences, and would thus 
have imbued them with a correct taste in exercising 
their influence in the promotion of the fine arts. l 

John Evelyn, whose philosophic and elegant mind con- 
tributed so much to adorn the period in which he lived, 
and who has preserved to us in his memoirs so true a 
picture of the age of the Restoration, published in 1662 
a work on engraving called " Sculptura," in which he un- 
folds a scheme he had formed for the formation of an 
academy for the encouragement of art. It is very in- 
teresting, in connection with the principles upon which 
the Royal Academy was to be founded a century after- 
wards. His plan is as follows : 

" It is proposed that a house be taken, with a sufficient 
number of rooms : two contiguous to each other for drawing and 
modelling from life ; one for architecture and perspective, one 
for drawing from plaster; one for receiving the works of the 
school ; one for the exhibition of them ; and others for a house- 
keeper and servants. 



1 Walpole mentions that Sir Hal- Academy for Foreign Languages, 

thazar Gerbier, a Flemish miniature and all Noble Sciences and Exer- 

painter and architect, who was cises ; " but nothing is known of its 

knighted by Charles I., and was his operations, except that Gerbier seems 

Master of the Ceremonies, esta- to have given lectures there in seve- 

blished an academy of his own in ral languages on a great variety of 

1048 upon similar principles to this, subjects, and a musical entertain- 

at Whitefriars, which ho called " The meiit in 1C4U-GO. 

c 2 



20 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. II. 

" That some fine pictures, casts, bustos, bas-relievos, in- 
taglios, antiquity, history, architecture, drawings, and prints, be 
purchased. 

" That there be professors of anatomy, geometry, perspective, 
architecture, and such other sciences as are necessary to a painter, 
sculptor, or architect. 

" That the professors do read lectures at stated times on con- 
stituent parts of their several arts, the resources on which they are 
founded, and the precision and immutability of the objects of true 
taste, with proper cautions against all caprice and affectation. 

"That living models be provided of different characters to 
stand five nights in the week. 

" That every professor do present the academy with a piece 
of his performance at admission. 

" That no scholar draw from the life till he has gone through 
the previous classes, and given proof of his capacity. 

" That a certain number of medals be annually given to such 
students as shall distinguish themselves most. 

" That every student, after he has practised a certain time, 
and given some proofs of his ability, may be a candidate for a 
fellowship. 

" That such of the Fellows as choose to travel to Eome to 
complete their studies, do make a composition from some given 
subject, as a proof of their ability. He who shall obtain the 
preference shall be sent with a salary sufficient to maintain him 
decently a certain time, during which he is to be employed 
in copying pictures, antique statues, or bas-relievos, drawing 
from ancient fragments or such new structures as may advance 
his art, such pieces to be the property of the Society. 

" That other medals of greater value, or some badges of dis- 
tinction, be given publicly to those who shall manifest un- 
common excellence. 

" That some professors should be well skilled in ornaments, 
fruits, flowers, birds, beasts, &c., that they may instruct the 
students in these subjects, which are of great use in our manu- 
factories. 

" That drawing-masters for such schools as may be wanted 
in several parts of the kingdom be appointed by the professors, 
under the seal of the Academy. 

" That a housekeeper shall continually reside at the Academy, 
to keep everything in order, and not suffer any piece to go out 
of the house without a proper warrant." 



CH. II.] SIR J. THORNIIILL'S ACADEMY 21 

This plan, unhappily, remained completely in abeyance ; 
and the next approach to an academy, of which there is 
now any trace, was a private one (mentioned by Walpole), 
established by Sir Godfrey Kneller, and at which Vertue 
the engraver studied in 1711. After a long career of 
court patronage in England, Kneller died in 1723, having 
painted portraits of ten sovereigns, the beauties of 
Hampton Court for William III., and the thirty-nine 
members of the Kit-cat Club, and attained the rank of 
baronet and a large fortune. 

Just about the time when this individual effort to afford 
instruction in art was brought to a close, Sir James 
Thornhill, then holding the appointment of historical 
painter to King George I., laid before the government a 
plan for the foundation of a Eoyal Academy for culti- 
vating the minds and diffusing right principles amongst 
the young artists of England, to be erected " at the upper 
end of the Mews," with suitable apartments for the pro- 
fessors. The estimated cost at the commencement was 
3189 ; and although the plan was supported by Lord 
Treasurer Halifax, the Treasury refused to make any 
grant for the purpose. 

When this attempt failed, Thornhill opened an academy 
for drawing at his own house in James Street, Covent 
Garden, on the east side, where " the back offices and 
painting-room abutted upon Langford's (then Cock's) 
auction-room in the Piazza." 1 This school was the 
resort of all the artists of the period; and when it 
was closed at his death, so greatly was the loss of the ' 
study of living models felt, that in two or three years 
afterwards a few artists associated together, and carried 
on their academic studies in a suitable room in the house 
of Mr. Hyde, a painter in Greyhound Court, Arundel 
Street, Strand. G. M. Moser, an eminent gold and 
silver chaser, and afterwards a Royal Academician, 
was the chief conductor of this institution. Many of the 

1 " European Magazine," 1804, p. 820. 



22 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. II. 

members of the Thornhill school joined the artists in 
their new studio ; and in 1738 they removed to a more 
spacious and convenient situation in Peter's Court, St. 
Martin's Lane, where they continued for nearly thirty 
years, supporting the life academy by their own subscrip- 
tions. The number of professional English artists was 
evidently rapidly increasing ; and by the example of 
Hogarth (who appealed to the support of the multitude 
through the medium of the sale of engravings from his 
works, rather than to high patrons to buy his paintings) they 
were encouraged to labour with a similar view. No tie 
of brotherhood, except that of mutual convenience, seems 
to have bound the members of these academies together ; 
and from an account which Hogarth has left us of the mode 
in which they worked, we are not able to form a very 
high opinion of their management or constitution. 

In an article written by him about the year 1760 (pub- 
lished in the supplementary volume of Ireland's " Hogarth 
Illustrated "), a brief account is given of the academies of 
art which existed in England prior to that date. He 
says, " The first place of this sort was begun about sixty 
years ago by some gentlemen painters of the first rank, 
who in their forms imitated the Academy in France, but 
conducted their business with less fuss and solemnity : yet 
the little there was of it soon became the object of 
ridicule. Jealousies arose ; parties were formed ; and the 
president and his adherents, having found themselves 
comically represented marching in ridiculous procession 
round the walls of their room, the first proprietors put a 
padlock on their door ; the rest, by their right as sub- 
scribers, did the same, and thus ended that academy. 
Sir James Thornhill, at the head of one of these parties, 
then (in 1724) set up an academy in a room he built at 
the back of his own house, now next the play-house 
(Covent Garden), and gave tickets to all who required 
admission ; but so few persons would incur the obligation 
that this academy soon sunk also. Mr. Vanderbank 



CH. II.] 



ST. MARTIN'S LANE ACADEMY 



23 



headed the rebellious party, converted an old meeting- 
house into an academy, and introduced a female figure, to 
make it more inviting to subscribers. This establishment 
lasted a few years, when the treasurer, having sunk the 
subscription money, the lamp, stove, &c. were seized for 
rent, and there was an end of that concern. Sir James 




The Old Academy In Peter'g Court, St. Martin's Laiio 



dying, I became possessed (in 1734) of his neglected ap- 
paratus ; and thinking that an academy, if conducted on 
moderate principles, would be useful, I proposed that a 
number of artists should enter into a subscription for the 
hire of a place large enough to admit of thirty or forty 
persons drawing after a naked figure. This proposition 



24 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. II. 

having been agreed to, a room was taken in St. Martin's 
Lane (Peter's Court). I sent to the society the furniture 
that had belonged to Sir James's academy ; and, attri- 
buting the failure of the previous academies to the lead- 
ing members having assumed a superiority which their 
fellow-students could not brook, I proposed that every 
member should contribute an equal sum towards the sup- 
port of the establishment, and have an equal right to vote 
on every question relative to its affairs. By these regu- 
lations the academy has now existed nearly thirty years, 
and is for every useful purpose equal to that in France 
or any other." How far this opinion of the eminent 
painter was confirmed by the final result we shall pre- 
sently have occasion to show. 

In the order of time, the next step towards the provi- 
sion of a home for art in England, was the laudable one 
taken by the Society of Dilettanti, founded in 1734 by 
some noblemen and gentlemen who had travelled in Italy, 
for the purpose of encouraging a taste for those objects 
which had contributed so much to their entertainment 
abroad, and also for friendly and social intercourse. " In 
1749 a plan was submitted to the society by Mr. Dingley, 
for the formation of an academy of arts ; and the society 
voted an annual sum out of their general fund for the 
encouragement of art in the three different branches of 
painting, sculpture, and architecture, as soon as this or 
any other scheme for a similar purpose should be carried 
into effect." 1 It would appear that the directors of the 
Dilettanti Society were in earnest in the matter, for they 
appointed a committee to purchase a plot of ground 
whereon to erect a building as a repository for works of 
art, particularly castes from the antique. They purchased 
a site on the south side of Cavendish Square, and supplies 
of Portland stone, and in 1753 resolved that the pro- 
posed building should be erected according to the exact 



Taylor's "History of the Fine Arts in Great Britain/' vol. ii. p. 163. 



CH. II.] PLAN OF THE DILETTANTI SOCIETY 26 

measurements of the Temple at Pola, appointing Sir John 
Dash wood, Mr. Howe, Mr. Dingley, and Colonel Gray, as a 
committee to carry it out. But subsequent proceedings 
were suspended, in consequence of the course taken by the 
Society of Artists, and unhappily this generous plan was 
never realised. If we may credit the not always impartial 
account given by Sir Eobert Strange in his " Inquiry 
into, the Eise and Establishment of the Eoyal Academy," 
its failure is to be attributed to the conduct of the artists 
for whose benefit it was proposed. He says, the artists 
" supported by annual subscription an academy in St. 
Martin's Lane, which was governed by a committee. Many 
attempts were made about that time to enlarge the plan 
of this academy, but they as frequently proved abortive : 
they failed through the intrigues of several amongst the 
artists themselves, who, satisfied with their own perform- 
ances and the moderate degree of abilities they possessed, 
wished, I believe, for nothing more than to remain as they 
then were, masters of the field. A society composed of a 
number of the most respectable persons of this country, 
commonly known by the name of the Dilettanti, made 
the first step towards an establishment of this nature. 
That society, having accumulated a considerable fund, 
and being really promoters of the fine arts, generously 
offered to appropriate it to support a public academy. 
General Gray, agentleman distinguished by his public spirit 
and fine taste, was deputed by that society to treat with 
the artists. I was present at their meetings. On the part 
of our intended benefactors, I observed that generosity 
and benevolence which are peculiar to true greatness ; 
but on the part of the majority of the leading artists, I was 
sorry to remark motives apparently limited to their own 
views and ambition to govern, diametrically opposite to 
the liberality with which we were treated. After various 
conferences, the Dilettanti, finding that they were to be 
allowed no share in the government of the Academy, or 
in appropriating their own fund, the negotiation ended." 



26 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. II. 

There may be some colouring in this description, tinted 
by the animosity which the eminent engraver was known 
to feel towards the managers of the St. Martin's Lane 
academy; but it certainly seems as if they desired to 
form a school of art which should be completely inde- 
pendent of any interference from without. A circular 
was issued, of which the following is a copy, by which it 
will be seen that the preliminary arrangements for the ap- 
pointment of professors in the new " public academy " were 
proposed to be made by the artists themselves : 

" Academy of Painting, Sculpture, &c., St. Martin's Lane, 
" October 23, 1753. 

" There is a scheme on foot for creating a public academy 
for the improvement of painting, sculpture, and architecture ; 
and it is thought necessary to have a certain number of pro- 
fessors, with proper authority, in order to making regulations, 
taking subscriptions, &c., erecting a building, instructing the 
students, and concerting all such measures as shall be after- 
wards thought necessary. 

" Your company is desired at the Turk's Head l , in Gerard 
Street, Soho, on the 13th of November, at five in the evening, 
to proceed to the election of thirteen painters, three sculptors, 
one chaser, two engravers, and two architects, in all twenty- 
one, for the purposes aforesaid. 

"(Signed) FRANCIS MILNER NEWTON, 

" Secretary. 

" P.S. Please to bring the inclosed list, marked with a cross 
before the names of thirteen painters, three sculptors, one 
chaser, two engravers, and two architects, as shall appear to 
you the most able artists in their several professions, and in all 
other respects the most proper for conducting the design. If 
you cannot attend, it is expected that you will send your list 
sealed, and inclosed in a cover directed to me at the Turk's 



1 The frequent resort of Dr. John- in every week at seven for supper, 

son, Reynolds, Goldsmith, and other Gibbon also was a member of the 

celebrities of the time. There, in Society of the Turk's Head, to which 

1764, was founded the Literary Club, also Adam Smith, Burke, and Fox 

the members meeting one evening belonged. 



CH. II.] HOGARTH'S OBJECTIONS TO ART-ACADEMIES 27 

Head, Gerard Street, Soho ; and that you will write your name 
on the cover, without which no regard will be paid to it. The 
list, in that case, will be immediately taken out of the cover 
and mixed with the other lists, so that it shall not be known 
from whom it came, all imaginable methods being concerted 
for carrying on this election without any favour or partiality. 
If you know of any artist of sufficient merit to be elected as a 
professor, and who has been overlooked in drawing out the in- 
closed list, be pleased to write his name according to his place 
in the alphabet, with a cross before it." 

There is nothing to show whether the artists to whom 
this invitation was sent gave any response to it ; but the 
project completely failed, and it would appear that great 
diversity of opinion existed among the members of the 
academy as to the propriety of the attempt, for ridicule 
and caricatures were freely exchanged by the opposite 
parties in the struggle. It is known that Hogarth was 
inimical to the project, and the following are the reasons 
he has assigned for his objections ' : 

" Portrait-painting ever has, and ever will, succeed better in 
this country than in any other. The demand will be as con- 
stant as new faces arise ; and with this we must be contented, 
for it will be vain to attempt to force what can never be accom- 
plished, at least by such institutions as royal academies, on 
the system now in agitation. If hereafter the times alter, the 
arts, like water, will find their level. Among other causes that 
militate against either painting or sculpture succeeding in this 
nation, we must place our religion, which, inculcating unadorned 
simplicity, doth not require, nay, absolutely forbids, images 
for worship, or pictures to excite enthusiasm. Paintings are con- 
sidered as pieces of furniture; and Europe is already over- 
stocked with the works of other ages. These, with copies 
countless as the sands on the sea-shore, are bartered to and fro, 
and are quite sufficient for the demands of the curious, who 
naturally prefer scarce, expensive, and far-fetched productions, 
to those which they might have on low terms at home. Who 
can be expected to give forty guineas for a modern landscape, 



Ireland's " Hogarth Illustrated," supplementary volume, pp. 70-70. 



28 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. II. 

though in ever so superior a style, when he can purchase one 
which, for little more than double the sum, shall be sanctioned 
by a sounding name, and warranted original by a solemn-faced 
connoisseur ? This considered, can it excite wonder that the 
arts have not taken such deep root in this soil as in places where 
the people cultivate them from a kind of religious necessity, 
and where proficients have so much more profit in the pursuit ? 
Whether it is to our honour or disgrace, I will not presume to 
say; but the fact is indisputable, that the public encourage 
trade and mechanics rather than painting and sculpture." l 

Much of truth is contained in these reasons ; and in the 
then state of party-feeling on the subject it did not seem 
probable that any plan could unite the artists into one 
harmonious brotherhood. Yet many advocates continued 
to urge the importance of the project, and in 1755 an 
" Essay on the Necessity of a Eoyal Academy " was pub- 
lished by Nesbitt, in which he declared it to be " as 
truly noble a charity as can be founded; " and in the 
same year the project was yet further developed by the 
issue of a pamphlet of sixteen quarto pages, entitled 
" The Plan of an Academy for the better Cultivation, 
Improvement, and Encouragement of Painting, Sculpture, 
Architecture, and the Arts of Design in General ; the 
Abstract of a Eoyal Charter, as proposed for establishing 
the same ; and a short Introduction." The latter con- 
tains the following remarks: "The prodigious sums 
England has laid out at foreign markets for paintings is 
but a trifle compared to the more prodigious sums ex- 
pended by English travellers for the bare sight of such 
things as they despaired of ever seeing at home. But the 
loss in point of money is not so much as in point of cha- 
racter ; for we voluntarily yield the palm to every petty 
state that has produced a painter ; and by the language 



1 It must be recollected that Ho- stitution, as has sometimes been 

garth, died in 1764, before the Royal supposed, but to the various plans 

Academy now in existence was esta- which were set on foot in his own 

Wished ; and that, therefore, his ob- times, 
jections had no reference to that in- 



CH. II.] PLAN FOR A ROYAL ACADEMY IN 1755 29 

generally used on this subject, one would think England 
the only country in the world incapable of producing one, 
as if the genius of a painter were one kind of essence, and 
the genius of a poet another as if the air and soil that 
gave birth to a Shakespeare and a Bacon, a Milton and a 
Newton, could be deficient in any species of excellence 
whatsoever. Whereas the whole secret lies in this : 
when princes, for their grandeur, or priests, for their 
profit, have had recourse to painting, the encouragement 
given to the professors gave spirit to the art, and then 
every one thought it worth while so to distinguish himself 

by encouraging it, in hope of sharing the reward 

To bring about this desirable end, it has been thought 
expedient to solicit the establishment of a Eoyal Academy, 
under the direction of a select number of artists, chosen 

by ballot out of the whole body A plan has been 

digested for directing the whole ; and all that is further 
wanting to carry it into execution is the benevolence of 
the public." The plan proposed that the establishment 
should consist of a president, thirty directors, fellows, and 
scholars, to be called the " Eoyal Academy of London, for 
the Improvement of Painting, Sculpture, and Architec- 
ture ;" and the Committee for carrying it into effect was 
composed as follows : 

FRANCIS HAYMAN, Chairman. ISAAC WARE 

GEORGE MICHAEL MOSER RICHARD DALTON 

Louis F. ROUBILIAC JAMES PAYNE 

THOMAS HUDSON JOSHUA REYNOLDS 

GEORGE LAMBERT SAMUEL WALE 

SAMUEL SCOTT GAVIN HAMILTON 

ROBERT STRANGE JOHN GWYN 

JOHN SHACKLETON THOMAS SANDBY 

WILLIAM HOARE RICHARD YEO 

CHARLES GRIGNION THOMAS CARTER 

JOHN ELLYS JOHN ASTLEY 

HENRY CHEERE JOHN PINE 

F. M. NEWTON, Secretary. 
Before attempting to gain public support to this scheme, 



80 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. II. 

the Committee submitted their proposal to the Dilettanti 
Society, who entered into it at first so readily that some 
of its members desired to enlarge the plan so as to admit 
persons not of the profession, and also suggested that " the 
President of the Eoyal Academy should be always annu- 
ally chosen from the Society of Dilettanti." One of the 
last proceedings in the matter is contained in the following 
statement, dated 30th December, 1755, addressed " To the 
Noblemen and Gentlemen of the Dilettanti Society : " 
" We, the Committee of Painters, Sculptors, and Archi- 
tects, beg leave to remind the Hon. Dilettanti Society of 
two resolutions of theirs, the one signed by his Grace the 
Duke of Bedford, encouraging us to proceed with our 
design of preparing a charter for the establishment of a 
Eoyal Academy, and the other by the Earl of Sandwich, 
chairman of the Committee, for considering our proposals 
in relation thereto, assuring us that their determination 
thereon should be communicated to us, as also to intimate, 
in the most respectful manner, that the sooner we can be 
favoured with their determination, the more a favour we 
shall esteem it : it appearing to us to be highly unbe- 
coming to proceed in an affair once laid before them till 
we be made acquainted with their sentiments upon it." 
The decision thus sought for was adverse to the hopes and 
prospects of the artists ; for the Dilettanti Society declined 
the compliment proposed to them, from an impression 
that they would have no real control over the academy 
thus proposed to be founded by the aid of their influence 
and assistance. Thus the proposal failed, like its prede- 
cessors, from the want of support on the part of the public, 
who were not sufficiently alive to the importance of art 
to induce them to give their money for the foundation of 
an art academy ; and, although it was proposed that it 
/ should bear the title of " Eoyal," it does not appear that 
the Sovereign himself was aware of the plan, and cer- 
tainly did nothing to give it the advantage of his pa- 
tronage. 



CH. II.] THE DUKE OF RICHMOND'S GALLERY 31 

To the Duke of Eichmond the artists were indebted for 5< 
the formation of a gratuitous school of design, in allowing " 
them access to his gallery in Whitehall, and offering pre- 
miums for the best designs. This gallery, furnished with 1 
casts of the most celebrated ancient and modern figures 
in Eome and Florence, was, by public advertisement, 
announced to be opened on the 6th of March, 1758, "for , 
the use of those who study painting, sculpture, and en- 
graving," a limitation being made restricting the admis- 
sion to youths above twelve years of age. The school 
was under the management of Cipriani for drawing, and 
Wilton for modelling. The advertisement stated that 
" There will be given, at Christmas and Midsummer annu- 
ally, to those who distinguish themselves by making the 
greatest progress, the following premiums : A figure 
will be selected from the rest, and a large silver medal 
will be given for the best design of it, and another for 
the best basso relievo. A smaller silver medal for the 
second best design, and one for the second best basso 
relievo" At the end of the first year the promised 
premiums were not awarded ; for the Duke had been 
called away suddenly to join his regiment on the conti- 
nent, it being the time of the Seven Years' War. Some 
impatient aspirant had, with excessive bad taste and im- 
pudence, pasted a placard on the door of the mansion, 
which his Grace saw on his return, in which he was made 
to apologise for his poverty, and to express his regret at 
having promised premiums which he could not give. As 
a school for youthful artists, it was closed in consequence; 
but individual students long after enjoyed the advantage 
which the study of these antiques afforded in improving 
their taste, and in giving them a true idea of beauty and 
proportion. 

A short time previously, in 1754, the " Society for the 
Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce in 
Great Britain " was founded by the persevering exertions 
of Mr. Shipley (brother of the Bishop of St. Asaph), and 



32 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. II. 

its first president, Lord Folkestone. One of its objects 
was " to bestow premiums on a certain number of boys 
or girls under the age of sixteen, who shall produce the 
best pieces of drawing, and show themselves most capable 
when properly examined." Young Cos way, at the age of 
fifteen, gained the first prize. Subsequently this premium 
was extended to persons of mature age for the best works 
in historical painting, sculpture, and design in architec- 
ture ; and thus the society was the first in England to 
bestow pecuniary and honorary rewards on the efforts of 
youthful artists. This was of great importance at that 
period, even though the society did not support a draw- 
ing school or afford instruction in art ; for it thus improved 
the public taste by holding up a standard of excellence to 
the artist. 

In another and indirect way the Society of Arts was 
instrumental in opening the first exhibition of the works 
of British artists to the public. The idea of such an exhi- 
bition was suggested by one held at the Foundling Hos- 
pital for the benefit of the charity. In 1740, Hogarth 
had painted a whole-length portrait of the founder, 
Captain Coram, and presented it to the Hospital. When 
the first wing of the present building was finished, in 
1745, Hogarth and eighteen other artists agreed to adorn 
its walls with works of art, and met annually on the 5th 
of November, to drink claret and punch in commemora- 
tion of the landing of King William HI., and to form a 
committee " to consider of what further ornaments may 
be added to this Hospital without any expense to the 
charity.-" 1 The result was that the donations of paintings, 
&c. (the fruits of these meetings and the generosity of the 
artists), when exhibited to the public, drew a daily crowd 
of spectators in their splendid equipages ; and a visit to the 



1 See the " History and Design of Brownlow, Secretary to the Hos- 
the Foundling Hospital, with a Me- pital. London, W. & H. S. Warr. 
moir of the Founder." By John 



Cn. II.] THE FIRST AET EXHIBITION 33 

Foundling became the most fashionable morning lounge 
in the reign of George II. 

The eclat thus excited suggested to the British artists 
generally the idea of making a public exhibition of their 
works ; and, at a meeting held by them on the 12th of 
November, 1759, it was resolved that "once in every 
year, on a day in the second week of April, at a place 
that shall be appointed by a committee for carrying the 
design into execution, to be chosen annually, every 
painter, sculptor, architect, engraver, chaser, seal-cutter, 
and medalist may exhibit their several performances. 
That the intention of this meeting is to endeavour to 
procure a sum of money to be distributed in charity to- 
wards the support of those artists whose age and infir- 
mities, or other lawful hindrances, prevent them from 
being any longer candidates for fame. And it is resolved 
that the sum of one shilling be taken daily of each person 
who may come to visit the said performances." This pro- 
posal was made known to the Society of Arts, who were 
solicited to allow the artists the use of their rooms (at that 
time in the Strand, opposite Beaufort's Buildings) for the 
purpose. The Society agreed to the proposal, only stipu- 
lating that no charge for admission should be made. This 
objection was met by a charge being made of sixpence 
for each catalogue ; and on the 21st of April, 1760 (the 
year in which King George HE. ascended the throne), the 
first art-exhibition in England was accordingly opened. 
The number of works displayed was 130, by sixty-nine 
artists. 1 No less than 6582 catalogues were sold, and the 
artists bought 100 Three per Cent. Consols out of the 
proceeds of the first exhibition. It was open from the 
21st of April to the 8th of May, and the room was conti- 
nually crowded to inconvenience, so novel a sight was 
such a display to the London public a century ago. 



1 A list of these, and many in- in Mr. John Pye's " Patronage of 
teresting particulars on this period British Art : an historical sketch." 
of English art-history, will be found London, 1845. 

VOL. I. D 



34 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [Cn. II. 

With this first gleam of sunshine for English artists, 
and with the prospect of their position being improved by 
attracting public approval and extended patronage, came 
also strife and contention among themselves, to be conti- 
nued, as we shall see, with increased virulence for years, 
until the course was taken which, once for all, elevated the 
arts to a higher position than they had ever previously 
attained in this country. 

In 1761, the artists who had held the exhibition at the 
room of the Society of Arts, again applied for its use, but 
stipulated that their pictures might not be displayed at 
the same time with the works of the candidates for the 
premiums offered by the Society, as confusion had arisen 
in consequence in the preceding exhibition; and that, 
" as great inconvenience had resulted from inferior 
people crowding the exhibition-room, the price of the 
catalogue should be one shilling, that no person be 
admitted without one, and that it serve as a ticket of 
admission during the season." In reply to these proposals, 
the Society of Arts contended that the exhibition should 
be freely opened to the public, under proper restrictions 
and management ; and some of the artists, rather than 
yield, engaged the room of an auctioneer in Spring 
Gardens during the month of May, and designated it 
as the "Exhibition-room of the Society of Artists of 
Great Britain." The catalogue contained a frontispiece 
by Hogarth, representing a fountain (surmounted by a bust 
of George III.), and Britannia nourishing, by the waters 
flowing from the fountain into a watering-pot, the three 
young trees, named " Painting," " Sculpture," and "Archi- 
tecture ;" and a tail-piece, portraying a connoisseur a fop- 
pishly-dressed monkey, looking through an eye-glass at 
three old stumps of trees, which he is watering, designated 
" exoticks," and labelled, obit. 1502, 1600, 1604, respec- 
tively, a bitter satire on the rage for "old masters." A 
third vignette, designed by Wale, and engraved by 
Grignion, represented the genius of the arts distributing 



CH. IL] DISSENSIONS AMONG THE AETISTS 35 

money from a coffer, inscribed "For the relief of the 
distressed." 1 So attractive was this catalogue, that 13,000 
copies were sold, and thus 650 were the receipts of the 
exhibition. Contemporary writers described many of the 
pictures in this exhibition as equal to those of any living 
artists then in Europe ; and Eoubilliac, the sculptor, wrote 
some French verses in praise of the collection, which 
were hung up in the room. 

The seceders from this body of artists held a separate 
exhibition of their works at the room of the Society of 
Arts. There were sixty-five exhibitors ; and it was an- 
nounced that the public would be admitted gratis, that 
catalogues, if required, would be charged at sixpence, the 
proceeds of the sale of which would be given to some 
public charity. Accordingly we find 50 each given to 
the Middlesex Hospital, the British Lying-in Hospital, and 
the Asylum for Female Orphans, and the balance to poor 
artists. In furtherance of this plan of providing, by 
prudent foresight and economy, funds for the support of 
the distressed and decayed of their own number, the 
artists in the following year formed themselves into an 
institution, to be called, "A Free Society of Artists, 
associated for the relief of the distressed and decayed 
brethren, their widows and children." In 1763 the 
society was enrolled in the Court of King's Bench, and 
fifty members signed the deed. The Society of Arts con- 
tinued to lend their room for the annual exhibition till 
1764 ; but in the following year the Free Society was re- 
moved to an unfavourable locality, the great room of 
Mr. Moreing, upholsterer, Maiden Lane, Covent Garden. 
In 1767 an agreement was entered into with Mr. Christie, 
the celebrated auctioneer, to hire the rooms he was then 
building at the bottom of the Haymarket, where the 
exhibition was held also in 1768. At that date the 



1 Reduced copies of those clover engraved in Pye, " On the Patronage 
and interesting designs will be found of British Art," pp. DO 101. 



v 2 



36 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [Cn. II. 

society possessed 1200 invested in the funds, and 
numbered 100 members sharing its benefits ; but after 
that time (the year of the foundation of the Eoyal 
Academy) no additions were made to it. For the next 
six years (1769-1774) the annual exhibition was held in 
a new great room, next to Cumberland House, Pall Mall, 
built expressly for the society by Mr. Christie, and pro- 
duced, on an average, 100 a year. For four years more 
the exhibition was continued in St. Alban's Street, when 
it would appear that the society ceased to exist, except to 
dispense its provident fund among surviving members. 

Ketracing our steps to follow the career of the Society 
of Artists (from which this Free Society was a seceding 
institution), we find them, in the third year of their 
existence (1762), carrying out their original resolution of 
charging a shilling for admission to their exhibition, and 
giving the catalogue gratis. To justify this course they 
obtained the assistance of Dr. Johnson, who was not, 
however, himself greatly interested in exhibitions of 
pictures, if we may judge of his regard for them by what 
he wrote to Baretti : "The artists have instituted a yearly 
exhibition of pictures and statues, in imitation, I am told, 
of foreign academies. This year (1761) was the second 
exhibition. They please themselves much with the multi- 
tude of spectators, and imagine that the English school 
will rise much in reputation. . . . The exhibition has 
filled the heads of the artists and lovers of art. Surely 
life, if it be not long, is tedious, since we are forced to 
call in the aid of so many trifles to rid us of our time 
of that time which can never return." Defective sight 
probably prevented the great moralist from appreciating 
pictures, which he declared could illustrate, but not 
inform ; yet, while he did not always speak very respect- 
fully of artists, he nevertheless wrote the "Apology" for 
their new course when, in 1762, they for the first time 
charged a shilling for each person's admission to their 
exhibition in Spring Gardens, and, by way of compensa- 



CH. II] DR. JOHNSON'S PREFACE 37 

tion for this innovation, presented the catalogue gratis to 
each visitor. It was prefixed to the catalogue in the 
form of an address, which, as it faithfully and elegantly 
describes the position of the artists at the period, and 
their determination to seek fame upon the merits of their 
works alone, and not by the patronage of the few, is well 
deserving of being reproduced entire in this place. It 
ran as follows : 

" The public may justly require to be informed of the nature 
and extent of every design for which the favour of the public is 
openly solicited. The artists, who were themselves the first 
promoters of an exhibition in this nation, and who have now 
contributed to the following catalogue, think it therefore neces- 
sary to explain their purpose, and justify their conduct. An 
exhibition of the works of art, being a new spectacle in this 
kingdom, has raised various opinions and conjectures among 
those who are unacquainted with the practice in foreign nations. 
Those who set their performances to general view have been too 
often considered as the rivals to each other, as men actuated, 
if not by avarice, at least by vanity, and contending for 
superiority of fame, though not for a pecuniary prize. It cannot 
be denied or doubted that all who offer themselves to criticism 
are desirous of praise. This desire is not only innocent, but 
virtuous, while it is undebased by artifice and unpolluted by 
envy ; and of envy or artifice those men can never be accused 
who, already enjoying all the honours and profits of their profes- 
sion, are content to stand candidates for public notice, with genius 
yet unexperienced, and genius yet unrewarded ; without any 
hope of increasing their own reputation or interest, expose their 
names and their works, only that they may furnish an opportunity 
of appearance to the young, the diffident, and the neglected. 
The purpose of the exhibition is not to enrich the artist, but to 
advance the art. The eminent are not flattered by preference, 
nor the obscure treated with contempt. Whoever hopes to 
deserve public favour is here invited to display his merit. 

" Of the price set upon this exhibition some account may be 
demanded. Whoever sets his works to be shown naturally 
desires a multitude of spectators ; but his desire defeats his own 
end when spectators assemble in such numbers as to obstruct 
one another. Though we are far from wishing to diminish the 



38 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. II. 

pleasures or depreciate the sentiments of any part of the com- 
munity, we know, however, what every one knows, that all 
cannot be judges or purchasers of works of art, yet we have 
found by experience that all are fond of seeing an exhibition. 
When the price was low our room was thronged with such 
multitudes as made access dangerous, and frightened away those 
whose approbation was most desired. 

" Yet, because it is seldom believed that money is got but for 
the love of money, we shall tell the use which we intend to 
make of our profits. Many artists of great ability are unable 
to sell their works for their due price. To remove this incon- 
venience an annual sale l will be appointed, to which every one 
may send his works, and send them, if he will, without his 
name. These works will be reviewed by the Committee that 
conduct the exhibition : a price will be secretly set on every 
piece, and registered by the Secretary. If the piece exposed is 
sold for more, the whole price shall be the artist's ; but if the 
purchasers value it at less than the Committee, the artist shall 
be paid the deficiency from the profits of the exhibition." 

The exhibition, for which this address was an apology, 
produced 524 8s. Id. ; that held in Spring Gardens in 
the following year, 1763, 560 ; and in 1764, 762 13s. 
The property of the Society being thus steadily on the 
increase, its members were so elated at the success of 
their endeavours that, by way of securing their privileges, 
they resolved at a general meeting held on the 24th of 
January, 1764, to solicit his Majesty, already felt to be a 
patron of the arts, to incorporate the Society by Eoyal 
Charter. This was granted on the 26th of January, 1765, 
from which time it was designated " The Incorporated 
Society of Artists of Great Britain." The Eoll Declara- 
tion contains the names of 211 subscribers, among whom 
will be found all the artists of eminence of the day, and 
many doubtless of greatly inferior ability, whose names 
and works have long since been forgotten. This list is 



1 This attempt was once made at factory in its result that it was never 
Langford's Rooms in the Piazza, repeated. 
Coveiit Garden ; but was so unsatis- 



Cn. II.] INCORPORATED SOCIETY OF ARTISTS 



interesting, as showing how many men were then labour- 
ing in the common cause of art, who afterwards became 
celebrated in their profession. 1 



1 The following is the list of artists who subscribed the Roll Declaration 
of the Society of Incorporated Artists of Great Britain in 1766 : 

[Those printed in italics subsequently became members of the Royal Academy.] 

Hauch, P. E. 
Hayward, Richard 
Helm, L. 
Herbert, Charles 
Hill, James 
Hodges, H. 
Holland, John 
Hone, Nathaniel 
Hudson, Thomas 
Humphry, Ozias 

James, George 
James, Thomas 
James, William 
Jennings, J. 

Keate, G. 
Kettle, Tilly 
Kirby, J. 

, William 

Kirk, John 

Lamborn, P. S. 
Lawrence, Thomas 
Lawrenson, Thomas 

, William 

Leake, Henry 
Lewis, John 

Mancourt, C. 
Manley, II. 
Marchant, Nathaniel 
Marchi, J. 
M'Ardell, J. 
Mario w, William 
Martin, David 
Mason, James 
Mayor, B. 
Maxell, Peter 
Meyer, J. 

Middleton, Charloa 
Miller, David 

, John 

->T. 

Miller, John F. 
.Mill-hull, Francis 



F. Hat/man, President 


Cotes, Samuel 


A. Ramsay, Vice-Presi- 


Cozens, Alexander 


dent 




Alexander, Cosmo 


Dott, N. T. 


Atwood, Thomas 


Dalton, Richard 




Dance, George 


Baillier, William 


"\rftfh mi* **7 




Baldwin, Robert 


Davy, R. 


Ballard, Thomas 


Diemar, T. M. 


Bannerman, Alexander 


Dixon, John 


Barber, Lewis 


Docker, John 




Donaldson J. 


Barralet, John J. 


Donowall, John 


Barrett, George 


Downes, B. 


Barron, Hugh 


Durno, James 


Barry, Edward 




Bartolozd, Francis 


Ebdon, Christopher 


Basher, John 


Edwards, Edward 


Baupre", A. 


Edwards, John 


Beanir, Samuel 


Elliott, William 


Berridge, John 


Evans, George 


Biarelli, C. 




Bibb, Charles 


Falconet, Peter 


Bonneau, Jacob 


Farington, Joseph 


Boydell, John 


Finney, Samuel 


Brampton, Richard 


Fisher, Edward 


Brown, Peter 


Forrester, R. W. 


Brown, T. 


Fosifer, John 


Biirdett, Peter 


Friend, J. P. 


Burford, Thomas 




Burgess, Thomas 


Gainsborough, Tfiomas 


Burton, John 


Gilpin, Sawrey 


Byrne, William 


Gowpy, Joseph 




Gossit, Isaac 


Canot, P. C. 


Grandon, John 


Carlini, Andreio 


Green, Benjamin 


Carver, Robert 


Green, Valentine 


Catton, C. 


Greenwood, John 


Chamber/in, Mason 


Grease, J. 


Chambers, Thomas 


Grignion, Charles 


Chambers, W. 


Grose, Francis 


Clarkson, Nathaniel 


Grryn, J. 


Clayton, John 




Collins, William 


Hall, John 


Cosway, Richard 


Hamilton, John 


Cotes, Fraud* 


, Hugh D. 



40 



HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. II. 



The officers of the Society named as directors in the 
Eoyal Charter, were George Lambert, President; Francis 
Hayman, Vice-President; Eichard Dalton, Treasurer; F. M. 
Newton, Secretary; J. M'Ardell, George Barrett, William 
Chambers, W. Collins, F. Cotes, C. Grignion, J. Gwyn, 
N. Hone, J. Meyer, G. M. Moser, J. Payne, E. Penny, 
E. Eooker, Paul Sandby, C. Seaton, W. Tyler, S. Wale, 
Eichard Wilson, G. Wilton, and E. Yeo. In this Charter 
there were, unfortunately, many points left undetermined 
which were necessary for the maintenance and govern- 
ment of the Society. The number of members was un- 
limited, each one being designated a " Fellow," and every 
one entitled to hold office as a " Director." l 



Morland, J. C. 
Mortimer, John 
Moser, G. 

Nelson, A. 
Nesbitt, J. 
Newton, F. M. 
Newton, William 
Nixon, James 

Oneacle, J. H. 

Paine, James 
Parbury, George 
PaiT, Samuel 
Parry, William 
Parsons, Francis 
Paxton, John 
Peates, J. 
Peters, R. 

, M. W. 

Picot, Vic Maria 
Pine, R. E. 
Platt, John 
Poland, William 
Powell, Cordal 
Pugh, Hubert 

Ralph, B. 
Ravenet, Simon 
Reynolds, Joshua 
Richards, John 



Richards, James 
Richardson, George 
Robertson, George 
Rogers, Thomas 
Rooker, Edward 

, W. H. 

Romney, George 
Ryland, W. W. 

Sandby, Thomas 

"- ^' ) Ctftw 

Sanger, G. 
Schaak, J. H. 
Seaton, C. 

, John T. 

Scrres, Dominic 
Shaw, William 
Sherlock, G. 
Smart, John 
Smirke, Robert 
Smith, Joachim 
Soldi, Andrew 
Spicer, Henry 
Stevens, Edward 
Stewart, Charles 
Strange, Robert 
Stubbs, George 
Sullivan, Luke 
Sykes, F. 

Tassaert, P. J. 
Taylor, Isaac 



Taylor, John 
Thompson, William 
Tomkins, W. 
Turner, James 
Tyler, W. 

Vardy, John 
Vespre, Francis 
Vivares, Francis 

Wale, Samuel 
Walton, John 
Ward, F. S. 
W 7 atson, James 
Webb, Westfield 
Webster, Samuel 
West, Benjamin 
Wheatley, Francis 
Williams, Joshua 
Williams, W. 
Wilkison, George 
Wilson, Richard 
Wilton, Joseph 
Woollett, William 
Wright, Joseph 
Wright, Richard 

Yeo, Richard 

Zoffany, J. 
Zucarelli, Francis 



1 An abstract of the Charter is British Art," and the whole pro- 
printed in Pye's " Patronage of ceedings of the directors and fellows 



CH. II.] INCORPORATED SOCIETY OF ARTISTS 41 

The exhibition of the year 1765 produced 826 12s., 
and that of the following year 874 9s. ; but it would 
seem that no public academy for art-instruction was pro- 
posed ; and the St. Martin's Lane Academy was still far 
from fulfilling the requirements of the artists, A resolu- 
tion was passed by a majority of the Fellows on the 3rd 
of March, 1767, " That it be referred to the directors to 
consider of a proper form for instituting a public academy, 
and to lay the same before the quarterly meeting in Sep- 
tember next." This resolution was repealed in conse- 
quence of a subsequent announcement made to them by 
one of the directors, Mr. Moser, as appears by a minute 
dated 2nd June, 1767. " Eesolved, that the resolution 
that the directors should proceed to consider of a form for 
instituting a public academy be repealed, his Majesty 
having been graciously pleased to declare his royal inten- 
tion of taking the Academy under his protection." There 
is little hope at this period, of ascertaining what the 
King really designed to do, although he was known to be 
a lover of the arts, and generously disposed towards its pro- 
fessors. Sir R. Strange tells a very improbable story, no 
doubt the scandal of the day, that Dalton, the treasurer 
of the Incorporated Society, had embarked in a specula- 
tion to open a print warehouse, in a house belonging to 
Mr. Lamb, an auctioneer in Pall Mall ; that after spending 
a considerable sum in alterations, the project failed ; and 
that he had used his influence, as the King's librarian, to 
persuade liis Majesty to establish an art- academy in these 
rooms, to relieve himself of the burden and loss arising 
from the possession of them. However this may be, the 
members of the St. Martin's Lane Academy transferred 
their furniture, anatomical figures, statues, &c. to the 
house referred to, and the title of " The Eoyal Academy " 
was placed over the door. Subscriptions were received 

at this time, and subsequently, arc Robert Strange's " Inquiry into the 
fully investigated and commented Rise and Establishment of the Royal 
upon iu that work ; and also in Sir Academy of Arts," 1775. 



42 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. II. 

towards its support, and each student paid a guinea at 
the opening. 1 It lasted only a short time ; but in the 
year 1767 the funds of the Incorporated Society, amount- 
ing to 1255 165., included a donation from the King of 
100, and from the Princess Dowager of Wales of 
10 10s., which shows that his Majesty was anxious at 
that time to promote the welfare of the society. 

A painful record of strife and dissension follows. The 
fundamental error of the original Charter, the absence of 
any restriction as to the number of members to be ad- 
mitted to the Society, was now beginning to show its 
pernicious fruit ; for inferior and inexperienced artists 
formed the majority, constituted themselves into a party 
in opposition to the directors (who had founded the 
Society, and who were the most distinguished artists of 
their time), and endeavoured to transfer the government 
to then: own hands. With this object they proposed a 
law to remove eight of the twenty-four directors annually, 
to be replaced by others from their own number, and 
obtained an affirmative opinion from the Attorney-General 
on the 26th June, 1768, as to the legality of this course. 
It was naturally opposed by the directors, but neverthe- 
less carried against them on St. Luke's Day (the 18th of 
October), when Mr. Joshua Kirby was substituted for 
Mr. Francis Hayman, who had succeeded Mr. Lambert as 
president; Mr. F. M. Newton was removed from the 
office of secretary ; and sixteen of the directors were ex- 
cluded. The members of the Society had previously 
met, in compliance with the terms of a circular, dated 8th 
October 2 , and had resolved to exclude the whole of the 
original directors. Those who were newly elected quickly 
showed that love of power, and not any regard for the 
promotion of the arts, was the object for which they 
sought to hold office, and quickly intimated their inten- 
tion of removing the remaining eight of the old directors 



1 See Strange's " Inquiry," pp. 7077. 2 Ibid. pp. 8889. 



CH. II.] RESIGNATION OF DIRECTORS 43 

at the next quarterly election. Seeing, therefore, that 
there was no prospect of an amicable termination of the 
struggle, and finding the government of the Society in- 
trusted to men, the majority of whom were wanting in 
practical knowledge of art, or a real desire to advance 
the interests of its professors, the remaining number of 
the old directors determined also to withdraw from the 
Society, and tendered their resignation accordingly in a 
letter, which was couched as follows : 

" To Joshua Kirby, Esq., President of the Society of Artists of 
Great Britain. 

"London, November 10, 1768. 

" Sir, Though we had the strongest objections to the un- 
warrantable manner in which most of the present directors of 
the Society were elected, yet our affection for the community 
was such, that we had, in spite of every motive to the contrary, 
resolved to keep possession of our directorships. But finding 
the majority of the present directors bent upon measures which 
we think repugnant to our charter, and tending to the destruc- 
tion of the Society, we judge it no longer safe to keep possession 
of our employments : therefore, do hereby resign them, that no 
part of the blame which will naturally follow the measures now 
pursuing may in any shape be laid upon us. 

" From the motions and insinuations of the last meeting, we 
clearly see what plan is to be pursued ; and we likewise clearly 
perceive that, however odious and hurtful such a plan may be, 
we shall find it utterly impossible to prevent it. 

"We would not, however, by any means, be understood to 
object to every remaining director. You, sir, and some others, 
we have the highest esteem for, as you have been elected into 
your offices without taking part in any intrigue ; and being men 
of honour and ability in your professions, are extremely proper 
to fill the places you occupy. 

" We are therefore, 
" Your and their most obedient, humble servants, 

" JOSEPH WILTON WILLIAM CHAMBERS 

EDWARD PENNY G. M. MOSKK 

RICHARD WILSON PAUL SANDBY 

BENJAMIN WEST F. M. NEWTON." 



44 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. II. 

Many members of the Society followed the example of 
these directors, and the faction which had thus excluded 
all the founders from any part in its government was not 
a little startled by the result of its proceedings. The con- 
duct of the directors and the retiring members was 
severely censured at the time by those who were so little 
prepared for the effect and consequences of it ; but we 
cannot but think there was sufficient reason for the step 
they determined to take, when they found the Society 
diverted from its original purposes, and its constitution 
completely changed. Nor can they be charged with 
intrigue (as was done by Sir E. Strange, Hay don, and 
others), when they united together subsequently to form 
another society more congenial to their own tastes, and 
better adapted, at least in their judgment, to promote the 
knowledge and success of the arts in England. It was 
not to be endured that a society of artists should consist 
chiefly of members who were such only in name, and who, 
in their desire to appropriate the funds of the Society eacli 
to his favourite purpose, shed abroad an influence for evil 
which preponderated over the good, and left the true 
lovers and students of the arts at their mercy. By exa- 
mining the list of the members of the Incorporated Society, 
as at first enrolled, and by withdrawing from it the names 
of those who subsequently became the foundation- 
members of the Royal Academy, it will at once be seen 
that the true artists were the seceders, and the result 
showed that as an art-academy the Incorporated Society 
of Artists utterly failed without their aid and influence. 



45 



CHAPTEE IE. 

ORIGIN AND FOUNDATION OP THE EOYAL ACADEMY, 1768 

Royal Patronage of Art solicited Favourable Reception of the Artists 1 
Memorial by George III. Plan of the Royal Academy Instrument of 
its Institution Obligation signed by its First Members Election of 
Officers and Professors First Public Announcement of its Foundation 
Tlie Fate of the Incorporated Society of Artists The Diploma The 
Royal Favour and Bounty bestowed on the Academy, and its Influence on 
Art The Limitation of the Number of the Royal Academicians to Forty 
The Example of Foreign Academies in this Respect Restriction of 
Members from exhibiting their Works elseiohere than at the Academy 
The Advantages of the Exhibition to Non-Members The Question as to the 
Utility of Academies of Art The Characteristics of the English School. 

THE directors who had been compelled to resign their 
places in the government of the Incorporated Society 
carried with them the sympathies of all who desired to 
see the fine arts elevated and advanced, and they wisely 
resolved to endeavour to rescue the study of art from the 
evil effects of the anarchy and confusion which had 
divided the association. Very quickly after the retire- 
ment of the eight directors who retained office when the 
new faction succeeded in gaining a majority in the 
management, four of their number, viz. Chambers, West, 
Cotes, and Moser, formed themselves into a committee, in 
order to take measures for forming a new academy, which, 
by its constitution and government, should be saved from 
the disastrous consequences of the defective organisation 
of all the preceding attempts of the same kind. 

They determined at the outset to seek the royal pro- 
tection, in order to preserve the arts in England from the 
power of those who sought not to promote their culture so 



46 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. HI. 

much as their own personal aggrandisement ; and art hap- 
pily found, in the taste and judgment of King George III., 
a noble support, and its professors a generous and 
gracious patron. Chambers, who had been appointed 
tutor in architecture to the young prince before his 
accession to the throne (Moser having been his instructor 
in delineation, and Kirby in perspective), and who had 
subsequently been appointed architect of works to the 
King, and enjoyed the royal favour, was thus enabled to 
submit the whole case to his Majesty, representing that 
many artists of reputation, together with himself, were 
very desirous of establishing a society that should more 
effectually promote the arts of design than any yet esta- 
blished ; but that they were sensible their design could 
not be carried into execution without his Majesty's 
patronage, which they had begged him to solicit. The 
King was not ignorant of the dissensions existing in the 
Incorporated Society, for they had been publicly referred 
to in the newspapers of the day ; and he was pleased, in 
answer, to say, that whatever tended effectually to promote 
the liberal arts might always rely upon his patronage. 

Thus encouraged, the four artists already named pre- 
sented (on the 28th of November, 1768) a Memorial, 
setting forth the prayer of the artists to the King, of 
which the following is a copy : 

" To the King's most Excellent Majesty : 

"May it please your Majesty, We, your Majesty's most 
faithful subjects, Painters, Sculptors, and Architects of this 
metropolis, being desirous of establishing a Society for pro- 
moting the Arts of Design, and sensible how ineffectual every 
establishment of that nature must be without the Eoyal in- 
fluence, most humbly beg leave to solicit your Majesty's gracious 
assistance, patronage, and protection, in carrying this useful plan 
into execution. 

" It would be intruding too much upon your Majesty's time 
to offer a minute detail of our plan. We only beg leave to 
inform your Majesty, that the two principal objects we have in 



Cn. m.] MEMORIAL TO THE KING 47 

view are, the establishing a well-regulated School or Academy 
of Design, for the use of students in the Arts, and an Annual 
Exhibition, open to all artists of distinguished merit, where 
they may offer their performances to public inspection, and 
acquire that degree of reputation and encouragement which 
they shall be deemed to deserve. 

" We apprehend that the profits arising from the last of these 
institutions will fully answer all the expenses of the first; we 
even natter ourselves they will be more than necessary for that 
purpose, and that we shall be enabled annually to distribute 
somewhat in useful charities. 

" Your Majesty's avowed patronage and protection is, there- 
fore, all that we at present humbly sue for ; but should we be 
disappointed in our expectations, and find that the profits of the 
Society are insufficient to defray its expenses, we humbly hope 
that your Majesty will not deem that expense ill-applied which 
may be found necessary to support so useful an institution. We 
are, with the warmest sentiments of duty and respect, 

" Your Majesty's 

"Most dutiful subjects and servants, 

" BENJAMIN WEST RICHARD YEO 

FRANCESCO ZUCCARELLI MARY MOSER 

NATHANIEL DANCE AGOSTINO CARLINI 

RICHARD WILSON FRANCIS COTES 

GEORGE MICHAEL MOSER WILLIAM CHAMBERS 

SAMUEL WALE EDWARD PENNY 

G. BAPTIS. CIPRIANI JOSEPH WILTON 

JEREMIAH MEYER GEORGE BARRET 

ANGELICA KAUFFMAN FRA. MILNER NEWTON 

CHARLES CATTON PAUL SANDBY 

FRANCESCO BARTOLOZZI FRANCIS HAYMAN." 

The King received this memorial very graciously, and 
stated that he considered the culture of the arts as a 
national concern, and that the memorialists might depend 
upon his patronage and assistance in carrying their plan 
into execution ; but that, before giving his sanction to 
their proposal, he wished their intentions to be more 
fully explained to him in writing. This was done by 
Chambers, in conjunction with other artists who had 



48 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. III. 

signed the memorial. 1 Northcote, in his "Life of Sir 
Joshua Reynolds," tells us that " They also made out a 
list of their officers, as well as of those who were to com- 
pose the body, containing about thirty names, and had 
inserted that of Reynolds among the rest. This list was 
to be delivered to the King for his approbation and sig- 
nature. However, Mr. Reynolds was still unwilling to 
join with either party, which resolution he made known 
to Sir William Chambers, in consequence of which Mr. 
Penny was sent to persuade him to join the party ; but 
that proved in vain. Penny then applied to Mr. West, 
and begged him to intercede with Reynolds, adding that 
he was the only person who could influence him to con- 
sent. Mr. West accordingly called on Mr. Reynolds on 
the same evening on which the whole party had a meet- 
ing, about thirty in number, at Mr. Wilton's house, ex- 
pecting the result of Mr. West's negotiation, as the King 
had appointed the following morning to receive their 
plan, with the nomination of their officers. Mr. West 
remained upwards of two hours endeavouring to per- 
suade Reynolds ; and at last prevailed so far, that he 
ordered his coach, and went with Mr. West to meet the 
party ; and immediately on his entering the room they 
with one voice hailed him as 'President.' He seemed 
to be very much affected by the compliment, and re- 
turned them his thanks for the high mark of their ap- 
probation ; but declined the honour till such time as he 
had consulted with his friends, Dr. Johnson and Mr. 
Edmund Burke. This demur greatly disappointed the 
company, as they were expected to be with the King on 
the very next morning by appointment ; but Messrs. West 
and Cotes avoided going to the King the next day, as 
they could not present him with a complete list of their 



1 See the introduction to Edwards' Royal Academy to the General As- 
" Anecdotes of Painters," and the sembly of Academicians, 1860." 
" Report from the Council of the 



CH. III.] THE " INSTRUMENT " OF INSTITUTION 49 

officers, for the want of a President ; and it was not for a 
fortnight afterwards that Eeynolds gave his consent." 

On the 7th of December, the sketch of the plan of 
the proposed academy was presented to the King, and 
his Majesty was pleased to express his approval of it. 
He requested that the whole might be submitted in form 
for his signature ; and on Saturday, the 10th of De- 
cember, 1768, it was laid before his Majesty, and signed 
by him. Thus was founded THE KOYAL ACADEMY OF 
ARTS IN LONDON, FOR THE PURPOSE OF CULTIVATING AND 
IMPROVING THE ARTS OF PAINTING, SCULPTURE, AND ARCHI- 
TECTURE. 

The following is a copy of the " Instrument " which 
was submitted for the Eoyal sanction, and which defines 
the constitution and government of the Eoyal Academy 
thus auspiciously inaugurated : 

" INSTRUMENT. 

" Whereas sundry persons, resident in this metropolis, eminent 
professors of painting, sculpture, and architecture, have most 
humbly represented by memorial unto the King that they are 
desirous of establishing a Society for promoting the Arts of 
Design, and earnestly soliciting his Majesty's patronage and 
assistance in carrying this their plan into execution ; and, 
whereas, its great utility hath been fully and clearly demon- 
strated, his Majesty, therefore, desirous of encouraging every 
useful undertaking, doth hereby institute and establish the said 
Society, under the name and title of the Koyal Academy of Arts 
in London, graciously declaring himself the patron, protector, 
and supporter thereof; and commanding that it be established 
under the forms and regulations hereinafter mentioned, which 
have been most humbly laid before his Majesty, and received 
his royal approbation and assent. 

"I. The said Society shall consist of forty members only, 
who shall be called Academicians of the Royal Academy; they 
shall all of them be artists by profession at the time of their 
admission that is to say, painters, sculptors, or architects, men 
of fair moral characters, of high reputation in their several pro- 
fessions ; at least five-and-twenty years of age ; resident in Great 

VOL. I. E 



50 HISTOKY OF TIIE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. III. 

Britain ; and not members of any other society of artists esta- 
blished in London. 

f ' II. It is his Majesty's pleasure that the following forty 
persons be the original members of the said Society, viz.: 

JOSHUA REYNOLDS G. MICHAEL MOSER 

BENJAMIN WEST SAMUEL WALE 

THOMAS SANDBY PETER TOMS 

FRANCIS COTES ANGELICA KAUFFMAN 

JOHN BAKER RICHARD YEO 

MASON CHAMBERLIN MARY MOSER 

JOHN GWYNN WILLIAM CHAMBERS 

THOMAS GAINSBOROUGH JOSEPH WILTON 

J. BAPTIST CIPRIANI GEORGE BARRET 

JEREMIAH MEYER EDWARD PENNY 

FRANCIS MILNER NEWTON AGOSTINO CARLINI 

PAUL SANDBY FRANCIS HAYMAN 

FRANCESCO BARTOLOZZI DOMINIC SERRES 

CHARLES CATTON JOHN RICHARDS 

NATHANIEL HONE FRANCESCO ZUCCARELLI 

WILLIAM TYLER GEORGE DANCE 

NATHANIEL DANCE WILLIAM HOARE 

RICHARD WILSON JOHAN ZOFFANY 

" III. After the first institution, all vacancies of Academicians 
shall be filled by election from amongst the exhibitors in the 
Royal Academy; the names of the candidates for admission 
shall be put up in the Academy three months before the day of 
election, of which day timely notice shall be given in writing to 
all the Academicians ; each candidate shall, on the day of elec- 
tion, have at least thirty suffrages in his favour, to be duly 
elected ; and he shall not receive his letter of admission till he 
hath deposited in the Royal Academy, to remain there, a pic- 
ture, bas-relief, or other specimen of his abilities approved of 
by the then sitting Council of the Academy. 

" I\ T . For the government of the Society there shall be annu- 
ally elected a President and eight other persons, who shall form 
a Council, which shall have the entire direction and management 
of all the business of the Society ; and all the officers and ser- 
vants thereof shall be subservient to the said council, which 
shall have power to reform all abuses, to censure such as are 
deficient in their duty, and (with the consent of the general 
body, and the King's permission first obtained for that purpose), 
to suspend or entirely remove from their employments such as 



On. III.] THE INSTKUMENT " OF INSTITUTION 51 

shall be found guilty of any great offences. The council shall 
meet as often as the business of the Society shall require it ; 
every member shall be punctual to the hour of appointment, 
under the penalty of a fine, at the option of the council ; and at 
each meeting the attending members shall receive forty-five 
shillings, to be equally divided amongst them, in which division, 
however, the secretary shall not be comprehended. 

" V. The seats in the council shall go by succession to all the 
members of the Society, excepting the secretary, who shall 
always belong thereto. Four of the council shall be voted out 
every year, and these shall not re-occupy their seats in the 
council till all the rest have served ; neither the president nor 
secretary shall have any vote either in the council or general 
assembly, excepting the suffrages be equal, in which case the 
president shall have the casting vote. 

" VI. There shall be a Secretary of the Eoyal Academy, elected 
by ballot, from amongst the Academicians, and approved of by 
the King ; his business shall be to keep the minutes of the 
council, to write letters, and send summonses, &c.; he shall 
attend at the exhibition, assist in disposing the performances, 
make out the catalogues, &c.; he shall also, when the keeper 
of the Academy is indisposed, take upon himself the care of the 
Academy and the inspection of the Schools of Design, for which 
he shall be properly qualified ; his salary shall be sixty pounds 
a year, and he shall continue in office during his Majesty's 
pleasure. 

" VII. There shall be a Keeper of the Royal Academy, elected 
by ballot, from amongst the Academicians ; he shall be an able 
painter of history, sculptor, or other artist, properly qualified. 
His business shall be to keep the Royal Academy, with the 
models, casts, books, and other moveables belonging thereto ; 
to attend regularly the Schools of Design during the sittings of 
the students, to preserve order among them, and to give them 
such advice and instruction as they shall require ; he shall have 
the immediate direction of all the servants of the Academy, 
shall regulate all things relating to the schools, and, with the 
assistance of the visitors, provide the living models, &c. He 
shall attend at the exhibition, assist in disposing the perform- 
ances, and be constantly at hand to preserve order and decorum. 
His salary shall be one hundred pounds a year ; he shall have a 
convenient apartment allotted him in the Royal Academy, where 

9 



52 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [Cn. III. 

he shall constantly reside ; and he shall continue in office during 
the King's pleasure. 

" VIII. There shall be a Treasurer of the Royal Academy, 
who, as the King is graciously pleased to pay all deficiencies, 
shall be appointed by his Majesty from amongst the Academi- 
cians, that he may have a person on whom he places full confi- 
dence in an office where his interest is concerned ; and his 
Majesty doth hereby nominate and appoint William Chambers, 
Esquire, architect of his works, to be treasurer of the Koyal 
Academy of Arts ; which office he shall hold, together with the 
emoluments thereof, from the date of these presents, and during 
his Majesty's pleasure. His business shall be to receive the 
rents and profits of the Academy, to pay its expenses, to super- 
intend repairs of the buildings and alterations, to examine all 
bills, and to conclude all bargains ; he shall once in every 
quarter lay a fair state of his accounts before the council, and 
when they have passed examination and been approved there, 
he shall lay them before the Keeper of his Majesty's Privy 
Purse, to be by him finally audited and the deficiencies paid; 
his salary shall be sixty pounds a year. 

"IX. That the Schools of Design maybe under the direction 
of the ablest artists, there shall be elected annually from 
amongst the Academicians nine persons who shall be called 
Visitors; they shall be painters of history, able sculptors, or 
other persons properly qualified; their business shall be to 
attend the schools by rotation each a month, to set the figures, 
to examine the performances of the students, to advise and 
instruct them, to endeavour to form their taste, and turn their 
attention towards that branch of the arts for which they shall 
seem to have the aptest disposition. These officers shall be 
approved of by the King ; they shall be paid out of the trea- 
sury ten shillings and sixpence for each time of attending, which 
shall be at least two hours, and shall be subject to a fine of ten 
shillings and sixpence whenever they neglect to attend, unless 
they appoint a proxy from amongst the visitors for the time 
being, in which case he shall be entitled to the reward. At 
every election of visitors four of the old visitors shall be declared 
non-eligible. 

" X. There shall be a Professor of Anatomy, who shall read 
annually six public lectures in the schools, adapted to the arts 
of design ; his salary shall be thirty pounds a year ; and he shall 
continue in office during the King's pleasure. 



On. III.] THE " INSTRUMENT " OF INSTITUTION 53 

" XI. There shall be a Professor of Architecture, who shall 
read annually six public Lectures, calculated to form the taste 
of the Students, tp instruct them in the laws and principles of 
composition, to point out to them the beauties or faults of cele- 
brated productions, to fit them for an unprejudiced study of 
books, and for a critical examination of structures ; his salary 
shall be thirty pounds a year ; and he shall continue in office 
during the King's pleasure. 

" XII. There shall be a Professor of Painting, who shall 
read annually six Lectures calculated to instruct the Students 
in the principles of composition, to form their taste of design 
and colouring, to strengthen their judgment, to point out to 
them the beauties and imperfections of celebrated works of 
Art, and the particular excellences or defects of great masters ; 
and, finally, to lead them into the readiest and most efficacious 
paths of study ; his salary shall be thirty pounds a year ; and 
he shall continue in office during the King's pleasure. 

" XIII. There shall be a Professor of Perspective and Geo- 
metry, who shall read six public Lectures annually in the 
Schools, in which all the useful propositions of Geometry, toge- 
ther with the principle of Lineal and Aerial Perspective, and 
also the projection of shadows, reflections, and refractions shall 
be clearly and fully illustrated; he shall particularly confine 
himself to the quickest, easiest, and most exact methods of 
operation. He shall continue in office during the King's plea- 
sure ; and his salary shall be thirty pounds a year. 

" XIV. The Lectures of all the Professors shall be laid before 
the Council for its approbation, which shall be obtained in 
writing, before they can be read in the public Schools. All 
these Professors shall be elected by ballot, the last three from 
amongst the Academicians. 

" XV. There shall be a Porter of the Koyal Academy, whose 
salary shall be twenty-five pounds a year; he shall have a room 
in the Royal Academy, and receive his orders from the Keeper 
or Secretary. 

"XVI. There shall be a Sweeper of the Royal Academy, 
whose salary shall be ten pounds a year. 

" XVII. There shall be an Annual Exhibition of Paintings, 
Sculpture, and Designs, which shall be open to all Artists of 
distinguished merit ; it shall contiilue for the public one month, 
and be under the regulations expressed in the bye-laws of the 
Society, hereafter to be made. Of the profits arising therefrom, 



51 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [Cn. III. 

two hundred pounds shall be given to indigent artists, or their 
families, and the remainder shall be employed in the support of 
the Institution. All Academicians, till they have attained the 
age of sixty, shall be obliged to exhibit at least one perform- 
ance, under a penalty of five pounds, to be paid into the 
treasury of the Academy, unless they can show sufficient cause 
for their omission; but, after that age, they shall be exempt 
from all duty. 

" XVIII. There shall be a Winter Academy of Living Models, 
men and women of different characters, under the regulations 
expressed in the bye-laws of the Society, hereafter to be made, 
free to all Students who shall be qualified to receive advantage 
from such studies. 

" XIX. There shall be a Summer Academy of Living Models 
to paint after, also of Laymen with draperies, both Ancient and 
Modern, Plaster Figures, Bas-reliefs, models and designs of 
Fruits, Flowers, Ornaments, &c., free to all artists qualified to 
receive advantage from such studies, and under the regulations 
expressed in the bye-laws of the Society hereafter to be made. 

"XX. There shall be a Library of Books of Architecture, 
Sculpture, Painting, and all the Sciences relating thereto ; also 
prints of bas-reliefs, vases, trophies, ornaments, dresses, ancient 
and modern customs and ceremonies, instruments of war and arts, 
utensils of sacrifice, and all other things useful to Students in 
the Arts ; which Library shall be open one day in every week 
to all Students properly qualified. One of the Members of the 
Council shall attend in the room during the whole time it is 
open, to keep order, and to see that no damage is done to the 
books ; and he shall be paid 10s. 6d. for his attendance. No 
books shall, under any pretence, be suffered to be taken out of 
the Library; but every Academician shall have free ingress at 
all seasonable times of the day to consult the books, and to 
make designs or sketches from them. 

" XXI. There shall be annually one Greneral Meeting of the 
whole body, or more if requisite, to elect the Council and 
Visitors ; to confirm new laws and regulations ; to hear com- 
.plaints and redress grievances, if there be any ; and to do any 
other business relative to the Society. 

" XXII. The Council shall frame new laws and regulations ; 
but they shall have no force, till ratified by the consent of the 
General Assembly, and the approbation of the King. 

" XXIII. Though it may not be for the benefit of the In- 



CH. III.] THE "INSTRUMENT" OF INSTITUTION 55 

stitution absolutely to prohibit pluralities, yet they are as much 
as possible to be avoided, that his Majesty's gracious intention 
may be complied with, by dividing as nearly as possible the 
emoluments of the Institution amongst all its Members. 

" XXIV. If any Member of the Society shall, by any means, 
become obnoxious, it may be put to the ballot, in the General 
Assembly, whether he shall be expelled, and if there be found 
a majority for expulsion, he shall be expelled, provided his 
Majesty's permission be first obtained for that purpose. 

" XXV. No Student shall be admitted into the Schools, till 
he hath satisfied the Keeper of the Academy, the Visitor, and 
Council for the time being, of his abilities ; which being done, 
he shall receive his Letter of Admission, signed by the Secretary 
of the Academy, certifying that he is admitted a Student in the 
Royal Schools. 

" XXVI. If any Student be guilty of improper behaviour in 
the Schools, or doth not quietly submit to the Rules and Orders 
established for their regulation, it shall be in the power of the 
Council, upon complaint being first made by the Keeper of the 
Academy, to expel, reprimand, or rusticate him for a certain 
time ; but if he be once expelled, he shall never be re-admitted 
in the Royal Schools. 

" XXVII. All modes of elections shall be regulated by the 
bye-laws of the Society, hereafter to be made for that purpose. 

" I approve of this plan ; let it be put into execution. 

" GEORGE, R. 
"ST. JAMES'S, December 10th, 1768." 

Four days after the completion of this important docu- 
ment, a meeting of twenty-eight of the thirty-four Royal 
Academicians nominated by the King was held ', at which 
they signed the following obligation : 

" London, December 14th, 1708. 

" His Majesty having been graciously pleased to institute 
and establish a society for promoting the Arts of Design, under 
the name and title of the ' Royal Academy of Arts,' in London ; 



1 The whole number of forty nominated by the Kinjr, two others, 

members WHS not completed for five Julian /ollimij and William Hoare, 

years afterwards. In addition to the were added in 17(50. All subsequent 

thirty-four artists who were at first appointments were by election. 



56 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. III. 

and having signified his royal intention that the said society 
should be established under certain laws and regulations, con- 
tained in the Instrument of the establishment, signed by his 
Majesty's own hand, 

" We, therefore, whose names are hereunto subscribed, either 
original or elected members of the said society, do promise, 
each for himself, to observe all the laws and regulations con- 
tained in the said Instrument ; as, also, all other laws, bye-laws, 
or regulations, either made, or hereafter to be made, for the 
better government of the above-mentioned society ; promising, 
furthermore, on every occasion to employ our utmost endeavours 
to promote the honour and interest of the establishment, so 
long as we shall continue members thereof." 

At the same meeting the following officers were elected 
by ballot : 

JOSHUA REYNOLDS, President. 

GEORGE MICHAEL MOSER, Keeper. 

FRANCIS MILNER NEWTON, Secretary. 

Council. GEORGE BARRET, WILLIAM CHAMBERS, FRANCIS COTES, 
NATHANIEL HONE, JEREMIAH MEYER, EDWARD 
PENNY, PAUL SANDBY, JOSEPH WILTON. 

Visitors. AGOSTINO CARLINI, CHARLES CATTON, G. BAPTIST 
CIPRIANI, NATHANIEL DANCE, FRANCIS HAYMAN, 
PETER TOMS, BENJAMIN WEST, RICHARD WILSON, 
FRANCESCO ZUCCARELLI. 

And at the general assembly of the Eoyal Academi- 
cians on the 17th of December, 1768, the first professors 
were elected also by ballot, viz. : 

EDWARD PENNY, Professor of Painting. 
THOMAS SANDBY, ,, Architecture. 

DR. WILLIAM HUNTER, Anatomy. 

SAMUEL WALE, Perspective. 

It was not till all these arrangements were made, that 
the fact of the intention of founding a Eoyal Academy was 
publicly announced, as the King wished it to be kept a 
secret, lest it might be converted into a vehicle of poli- 
tical influence The mode in which it was made known 
to the Incorporated Society of Artists is recorded in 



CH. III.] FIRST ANNOUNCEMENT OF ITS FOUNDATION 57 

the " Life of West," by John Gait, who read the manu- 
script of it to him previous to his last illness *, and which, 
therefore, may be regarded as a true version of what 
occurred : " While his Majesty and the Queen at 
Windsor Castle were looking at West's picture of ' Ee- 
gulus,' just then finished, the arrival of Mr. Kirby, the 
new President of the Incorporated Society, was announced. 
The King having consulted with his Consort in German, 
admitted him, and introduced him to West, to whose 
person he was a stranger. He looked at the picture, 
praised it warmly, and congratulated the artist. Then 
turning to the King, said, ' Your Majesty never mentioned 
anything of this work to me. Who made the frame ? 
It is not made by one of your Majesty's workmen ; 
it ought to have been made by the Eoyal carver and 
gilder.' To this, the King calmly replied, ' Kirby, when- 
ever you are able to paint me such a picture as this, your 
friend shall make the frame.' ' I hope, Mr. West,' said 
Kirby, 'that you intend to exhibit this picture?' 'It is. 
painted for the palace,' said West, ' and its exhibition 
must depend upon his Majesty's pleasure.' 'Assuredly,' 
said the King ; ' I shall be very happy to let the work be 
shown to the public.' 'Then, Mr. West,' said Kirby, 
' you will send it to my exhibition ? ' ' No,' interrupted 
his Majesty, 'it must go to my exhibition to that of the 
Royal Academy' and in that exhibition it was subse^- 
quently seen and admired. The President of the Asso- 
ciated Artists bowed with much humility, and retired. 
Shortly afterwards he presented a petition to the King 
from the Society, representing their alleged grievances, 
and soliciting his exclusive patronage, to which an answer 
was returned that ' the Society had his Majesty's protec- 
tion ; that he did not mean to encourage one set of men 
more than another ; that having extended his favour to 
the Society by Eoyal charter, he had also encouraged the 



See Gait's preface to the second part of hU " Life of West," pp. 3038. 



58 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [Cn. III. 

new petitioners ; that his intention was to patronize the 
arts ; and that he should visit the exhibition as usual.' " l 
The interest taken by the King in the progress of the 
Eoyal Academy, however, was alike earnest and un- 
ceasing. He had himself suggested many of the regu- 
lations for its government, and when it was established, 
not only became the patron of the society, but was 
pleased to take it thenceforward under his personal con- 
trol. Apartments were provided for the Academy in 
his own palace of Somerset House ; and when the old 
mansion, originally built by the Protector Somerset, was 
taken down, and the site appropriated for public offices, 
his Majesty stipulated with the government that apart- 
ments should be constructed in the new building for the 
Eoyal Academy, among other learned societies. Further 
than this, the King retained in his own hands the right of 
approving of all artists elected into the Eoyal Academy, 
and in his own handwriting drew up the form of a 



1 See Strange's "Inquiry," pp. 108, Gardens, where its last appearance 

109. It is iiot necessary to detail was made in 1791 two mterme- 

the subsequent history of this society. diate exhibitions having been held 

Its decline was gradual 5 but at the in 1783 and 1790, at the Lyceum, 

period of which we are now speaking, It had long previously virtually 

1768, it still numbered more than a ceased to exist, for its power and 

hundred members. The king gave influence, as well as its usefulness 

the society 100 in 17G9, and at- had departed, when at least the great 

tended the Exhibition; but it was majority of the able artists of the 

the last visit they had from him. day had withdrawn from it in the 

The following year the receipts de- unhappy dissensions of former years. 

creased. In 1771 they again in- The last surviving member of the 

creased, and a pamphlet published society, Mr. Robert Pollard, died at 

by the society entitled "The Con- the age of eighty- three, having 

duct of the Royal Academicians previously, in October 1836, given 

while Members of the Society of up the whole of the books, papers, 

Artists," attracted attention to their and minute-books of the society, as 

proceedings. In 1772, they built at well as the royal charter of its in- 

a cost of 7500 the great room, the corporation, to the charge of the 

Lyceum in the Strand, for their ex- Royal Academy, in whose possession 

hibition, and thus contracted a debt they now are. An abstract of these 

of 4000 ; becoming embarrassed, documents was arranged for publica- 

they sold it again in 1773. Subse- tion in the Literary Panorama for 

quent exhibitions were made in 1778 1807 and 1808, in which all that is 

and 1779, at Mr. Philip's room in of general interest in regard to the 

Piccadilly, near Air Street. In 1780 society's proceedings may be found, 
their exhibition was held in Spring 



On. III.] THE "DIPLOMA" 59 

Diploma to be granted to each member on his election, 
the Eoyal Sign-manual being affixed to the diploma of 
each Eoyal Academician, and no election being valid 
until this is done. The following is the form of the 
diploma : 

"George the Third, by the grace of (rod, King of Great 
Britain, France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, &c., to 
our trusty and well beloved greeting. 

" Whereas, we have thought fit to establish in this our City 
of London a Society for the purposes of the arts of Painting, 
Sculpture, and Architecture, under the name and title of the 
Eoyal Academy of Arts, and under our own immediate patro- 
nage and protection; and whereas, we have resolved to intrust 
the sole management and direction of the said society under us 
to Forty Academicians, the most able and respectable artists in 
Great Britain : We, therefore, in consideration of your great 
skill in the art of [Painting] do by these presents constitute 
and appoint you to be one of the Forty Academicians of our 
said Royal Academy, hereby granting unto you all the endow- 
ments thereof, according to the tenor of the institution under 
our sign-manual upon the : And we are the more 

readily induced to confer upon you this honourable distinction, 
as we are firmly persuaded you will upon every occasion exert 
yourself in support of the honour, interest, and dignity of the 
said establishment, and that you will faithfully and assiduously 
discharge the duties of the several offices to which you may be 
nominated. In consequence of this our gracious resolution, it 
is our pleasure that your name be forthwith inserted in the 
roll of the Academicians, and that you subscribe the obligation 
in the form and manner prescribed. 

" Given at our Royal Palace of St. James, the day of 

in the year ." 

It was not simply the advantage of the Eoyal favour 
and interest in its proceedings, which the new institution 
was privileged to enjoy. Substantial aid was needed by 
a society starting into existence amidst rivalry and oppo- 
sition, and at a time when a public taste for art had to be 
created ; and it was afforded by the King munificently 
engaging to supply out of his Majesty's privy purse, any 



00 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [Cn. III. 

deficiency in its funds arising out of the gratuitous in- 
struction of students in the Fine Arts, or by donations 
granted to distressed or superannuated artists and their 
families. The more effectually to exercise control over 
the funds, the King directed all the accounts to be sub- 
mitted to him, and audited by the Keeper of the Privy 
Purse, and retained in his own hands the appointment of 
treasurer, as well as that of librarian. 

It is not to be wondered at that the members of the 
Eoyal Academy have always felt justly proud that their 
institution was established, and for at least twelve years 
after its formation aided, by " Eoyal munificence ; " and 
that the interest of the Sovereign in its proceedings is still 
a matter of rejoicing to all who desire to see the Fine 
Arts flourish in our land. For as the Council has justly 
observed, " In considering the advantages which the 
Academy enjoys from the Eoyal favour, with more espe- 
cial reference to the members, it should be borne in 
mind that rewards of merit are not benefits for those 
only on whom they are conferred, but for all those to 
whom they are offered. In all professions the attainment 
of excellence is promoted no less by the struggle for 
success which affects many, than by the success itself, 
which affects one. The advantage of the Eoyal favour 
and patronage graciously conferred on the Academy is 
therefore an advantage to the professors of art generally. 
That those honours are difficult of attainment is a condi- 
tion common to all distinctions that worthily excite com- 
petition. The members of the Academy, from its origin 
until now, have ah 1 contended with rivals in the race, and 
have all experienced the difficulty of winning the prize. 
The privileges of the Academy as an institution can only 
be privileges as long as it comprehends the majority of 
the first professors of art in the country. Not even the 
Eoyal favour extended to inferior artists could render their 
works universally attractive. With reference to the 
Academy, therefore, the Eoyal favour is to be regarded, 



CH. III.] LIMITED NUMBER OF MEMBERS 01 

as it always should be regarded, as a stimulus to all for 
the attainment of excellence, inasmuch as it is the 
honourable result of public approbation." l 

The limitation made by the Instrument of institution of 
the number of the Eoyal Academicians to forty, has been 
a ceaseless source of contention from the first foundation 
of the Academy to the present time. It was at first argued 
that it was intentionally done to exclude so many of the 
artists of the Incorporated Society as never to give them 
a preponderance over the old directors of that Society, 
who had seceded from it to become the founders of the 
Eoyal Academy 2 ; and Sir Eobert Strange was vain 
enough to declare that the exclusion of engravers gene- 
rally was adopted purposely to debar him from the privi- 
leges of membership. 3 As the English school gathered 
strength, it has been urged that the Eoyal Academy 
should have expanded and enlarged its numbers in pro- 
portion to the numerical increase of English artists, so that 
now it would need to be increased to at least treble its 
original constitution ; and the Academy is charged with 
undue exclusiveness, and a failure of its high mission in 
the cause of art, because it has not fully met these 
demands. 

Such statements deserve careful examination before 
they are either contradicted or adopted. Looking at the 
state of art in this country a century ago, and contrasting 
it with its present position, it cannot be denied that the 
advance has been steady, substantial, and rapid. Indeed, 
as we contemplate the works of the artists who exhibited 
in 1760 with those whose works are now to be seen all 
around us, we question whether it must not be admitted 
that the original number of forty was not far beyond the 
requirements of the year 17G8, and that being based on 
the number of artists who were entitled to membership 



1 " Report of the Council " for the Select Committee of the House 
I860, p. 10. of Commons " on Arts, &c., 1830. 

8 See Ilaydon's " Evidence before * Strange'a "Inquiry,"' p. 112. 



02 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [Cn. III. 

in several of the Foreign Academies then existing, it was 
rather intended to reach that number in England in the 
future, as the knowledge of art and the ability of its pro- 
fessors advanced. This seems to have been the motive 
for leaving several vacancies in the original number un- 
filled for some years : and even with this admission of 
the necessity of limiting the honour of full membership to 
artists of established reputation, it may fairly be questioned 
whether several of those who were then elected would 
have been chosen had they lived in our own day. It 
seems, therefore, that the limit originally fixed was a very 
large one too wide for the then infantile state of the 
English school but one which it might reasonably hope 
speedily to reach. 

That it has done so is admitted ; but the next question 
is whether the progress made has been such as to demand 
a yet further extension ? It must be remembered that if 
the title of Eoyal Academician is to carry with it a re- 
cognised claim to superior excellence on the part of the 
artist on whom it is conferred, if it is to be an honour 
sufficiently great to be an impulse to the young aspirant, 
and a laudable ambition in the artist of acknowledged 
merit, it ought not to be the common dignity of every 
one who has proved his claim to be ranked among the 
large number of good painters, or sculptors, or architects, 
which we now happily possess. And we cannot help 
questioning whether any country, in ancient or modern 
times, has ever been able to produce at any one time 
forty artists of whom it could be said that they were of 
such superior ability as to render them famous, not only 
while living, but in after ages, as eminent in their pro- 
fession and masters of their art. If the highest honours 
of the Eoyal Academy should be reserved "for such as 
these, then it is very doubtful, indeed, whether forty is 
not more than sufficient to meet the necessity of the case, 
or at all events ample for all time. The vexed question 
of the admission of engravers to full academic honours 



CH. III.] ASSOCIATED MEMBERS 63 

has been set at rest, and will be noticed in the course of 
this history. 

But while the full dignity of Eoyal Academician is thus 
wisely limited, it is open for consideration whether it 
might not be a fair encouragement to offer to a large 
number of really talented artists, to allow them to become 
associated members, without taking any part in the go- 
vernment of the Eoyal Academy, or if at all, by being 
permitted to nominate as representatives of their own 
body, a certain number of artists, for election by the 
forty academicians. The bitter experience of the fate of 
the societies of artists which existed as corporate bodies, 
and which were torn by dissensions consequent on their 
government being under the direction of so large a num- 
ber, or by resistance on the part of the majority to the 
government of the few, justified the founders of the Eoyal 
Academy in so constituting it that it should be preserved 
from this peril ; and from the tone in which the question is 
still discussed, the necessity remains that the power of 
governing should be vested in those who have attained, 
by their own ability, to the coveted pinnacle of fame in 
art, and that in associating around them their brother 
artists who are seeking similar honours, they should in 
some measure adopt a relative position to that of the 
Senate in the Universities. In this view it may, perhaps, 
be desirable hereafter to remove all restrictions as to the 
number of associates and associate engravers, or to in- 
crease their number ; the election being confined, as at 
present, to the academicians, and the claim to acknow- 
ledged merit as an artist being the only qualification de- 
manded of the candidate for what would still be, though 
more easily attainable than at present, a coveted mark of 
dictinction. 

Several foreign academies were in existence at the 
time of the foundation of the Eoyal Academy; and as 
the question of establishing such an institution in this 
country had been discussed, and many fruitless efforts had 



64 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [Cn. III. 

been made for some years previously, there is no doubt 
that their constitution was examined before that of the 
English one was determined ; and it will be found on re- 
ference to the Continental art-societies, whether of olden 
times or of more modern date, that as a general rule the 
number of academicians is not greater in them than in our 
own. In the French Academy (originating in the ancient 
company of St. Luke), founded in 1648 by Louis XIV., 
and of which Le Brun was the first president, the total 
number is forty, consisting of fourteen painters, eight 
sculptors, eight architects, four engravers, and six pro- 
fessors of music. The Eoyal Academy of the Arts of 
Berlin was founded in 1699 by Frederic L, and consists 
of twenty-one painters, five sculptors, five architects, and 
five professors of music, besides a large number of 
honorary members, native and foreign. In the Academy 
of St. Luke at Eome, established in 1595, there are 
twelve historical painters, twelve sculptors, and twelve 
architects, who are required to reside there, and also 
four portrait painters, four landscape painters, four gem 
engravers, and four engravers, partly resident and partly 
foreigners, besides academicians " of merit," consisting of 
twenty foreign artists of each of the first three classes. 
An academy was established at Munich in 1770, which 
was subsequently in 1808 re-founded by Joseph I. as the 
Eoyal Munich Academy, with a director, three historical 
painters, one sculptor, two architects, one engraver, one 
teacher of elementary painting, one corrector in the 
antique school, one professor of the history of art (all 
receiving salaries and retiring pensions from the Govern- 
ment), and four other professors, in all fifteen members, 
besides an unlimited number of honorary members and 
artists. The Eoyal Academy of Antwerp comprehends 
fifteen painters, five sculptors, three architects, one 
engraver, and one professor of drawing, besides associated 
and honorary members. The academies of Florence, 
Eome, and Bologna, as assemblies of honour as well as 



CH. III.] CONSTITUTION OF FOREIGN ACADEMIES Go 

gratuitous schools of the arts, seem especially to have 
been imitated in the constitution of our own Academy ; 
and forty, which was the original number of the acade- 
micians of Florence, has been the limit of the number of 
members adopted in most of the subsequent institutions 
of the same nature. 

By one of the laws in the original constitution of the 
Eoyal Academy, its members were prohibited from be- 
longing to any other institution or society of artists in 
London. This regulation has been considered as calcu- 
lated to give an exclusive character to the Academy, and 
to be unnecessary. In the present day it undoubtedly is 
so ; and it would appear 1 that if not actually cancelled, 
it has long ceased to be acted upon. The original 
founders of the Eoyal Academy may, indeed, have thought 
it a prudent step to guard themselves against similar dis- 
sensions to those which had debased the art-societies 
then in existence, and out of which it arose ; and also, 
since the new institution would have mainly to depend 
for support upon the contributions of the public, it may 
have been deemed necessary, in order to prevent a de- 
cline of the funds, to require the members to centre the 
attractions, which the products of their talents might 
afford, solely in the new society. This state of things no 
longer exists, and therefore the members of the Royal 
Academy are now found exhibiting their works at the 
British Institution and at other places, and are not de- 
barred from taking office in other kindred societies. It 
is quite certain that the Royal Academy in no case hinders 
the formation of new art-societies, even when founded 
simply for the purpose of exhibiting pictures, and that 
it is always ready to promote the establishment of schools 
of art in the metropolis and in the provinces. 

The fact that the exhibitions which annually provide 



1 Evidence of Sir M. A. Shee, the Select Committee of the Com- 
P.R.A. (questions 1000-2), before nions, on Arts, 1830. 

VOL. I. F 



66 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [Cn. III. 

the income and replenish the coffers of the Eoyal Academy, 
are partly composed of works by artists who are not 
members, and that the academicians themselves rarely 
contribute as largely to them, as by their own restricted 
privilege they are permitted to do has been cited (as 
we think unfairly), to indicate that the members derive 
the benefit of the exhibition of the works of artists not 
belonging to their society, and to whom they give no re- 
turn. In many cases there is no doubt that the know- 
ledge that they will find many works of real excellence, 
by men of established position and talent as artists, leads 
persons to visit the exhibition who would not else be 
found within its walls ; while in others it is equally true 
that the multitude and variety of works may attract many 
more than would be found if the exhibition consisted 
exclusively of the works of the Eoyal Academicians. But 
is an injustice really done to our aspiring artists by this 
arrangement ? That they do not think so, we know by 
the fact that there are as many works excluded as ex- 
hibited, in consequence of the limited space at the disposal 
of the Academy, and by the eagerness with which they 
strive to attain an entrance for their productions. In 
some of the modern exhibitions, which have been com- 
menced upon the principle of admitting all works upon 
payment by the exhibitor for the extent of wall-space 
occupied, the artist finds that the attendance of real 
lovers or patrons of art is comparatively nothing, and the 
money he expends is fruitlessly employed ; whereas, with- 
out charge, and in a place where Eoyalty, nobility, and 
fashion congregate, and where English art in its annual 
development is studied by the art-patron, connoisseur and 
critic, he has a chance of attaining fame and gaining 
patronage which would never reach him in any other 
way. So far, therefore, from the plan being disad- 
vantageous to young or unknown artists, it affords them 
the surest means of attracting attention to their works ; 
and that the Academy places its exhibition-room at their 



CH. III.] EXHIBITORS AT THE ACADEMY 67 

disposal, as far as its space will allow, and sometimes to 
the exclusion of the works of its members 1 , ought to be 
regarded by them as a boon and a proof of its desire to 
advance the cause of art, without respect to the rights 
which its own constitution might authorize it to reserve 
to its own members. 

That the Eoyal Academy thus finds its income in- 
creased is undoubted ; but this does not give the exhibitors 
who are not members of the Academy, any ground of 
complaint that they do not share in the emoluments thus 
derived. It is true that, under certain conditions, there 
are pensions obtainable by members of the Royal Aca- 
demy and by their survivors ; but it is not often that they 
come within those conditions, and a very much larger 
sum has been expended upon those unconnected with 
the Academy than upon its members. But the distribu- 
tion of aid to artists or their families in need of it, is the 
pleasant labour of the Academy, not always limited to 
the pensions claimed by its members, nor to the gifts dis- 
pensed to exhibitors or their families ; and so quietly and 
delicately is this aid rendered, that not even the members 
of the Academy are aware of the names of those who 
are thus benefited, but only the council for the time 
being, by whom these gifts of kindness are dispensed. 
Artists who are neither academicians nor associates, and 
the families of many men of genius little known, and cut 
short in their career before they could attain the means 
of leaving a provision for those nearest and dearest to 
them, are thus befriended, silently and without an attempt 
at display of charity, by the substantial means of brotherly 
sympathy which the funds of the Eoyal Academy enable 



1 " I must do the members of the avoidable, to see works by contri- 

Royal Academy the justice to say, butors occupying those prominent 

that some of their own works have places, which by a fair and acknow- 

been this year withdrawn to make ledged privilege, are usually assigned 

room for others ; and it is satisfactory, to members." SjM-n-h of <S'V C. East- 

amid the disappointments which, fnki; P. It. A., at the Itoyal Academy 

under the circumstances are un- Dinner, 1800. 

r 2 



08 HISTORY OF THE EOYAL ACADEMY [Cn. III. 

its council to bestow among the less fortunate artists of 
our country. 

The general question as to the utility of academies of 
art has always been one upon which much difference of 
opinion has been expressed. Fuseli, one of the professors 
in the Eoyal Academy, a Swiss by birth, attributes the 
origin of academies to the decline of art, when, in his 
twelfth "Lecture on Painting," he says : 

" The very proposals of premiums, honours and rewards, to 
excite talent or rouse genius, prove of themselves that the age 
is unfavoui*able to art ; for had it the patronage of the public, 
how could it want them ? We have now been in possession of 
an Academy more than half a century, all the intrinsic means of 
forming a style alternate at our command, professional instruc- 
tion has never ceased to direct the student, premiums are dis- 
tributed to rear talent and stimulate emulation, and stipends 
are granted to relieve the wants of genius, and finish education, 

and what is the result? ... If our present state moderates 
our hopes, it ought to invigorate our efforts for the ultimate 
preservation and, if immediate restoration be hopeless, the 
gradual recovery of art. To raise the arts to a conspicuous 
height, may not perhaps be in our power ; we shall have deserved 
well of posterity if we succeed in stemming their further down- 
fall, if we fix them on the solid base of principle. If it be 
out of our power to furnish the student's activity with adequate 
practice, we may contribute to form his theory ; and criticism 

founded on experiment, instructed by comparison, in posses- 
sion of the labours of every epoch of art may spread the 
genuine elements of taste, and check the present torrent of 
affectation and insipidity. This is the real state of our institu- 
tion, if we may judge from analogy All schools of 

painters, whether public or private, supported by patronage or 
individual contribution were, and are, symptoms of art in 
distress, monuments of public dereliction, and decay of taste. 
But they are, at the same time, the asylum of the student, the 
theatre of his exercises, the repositories of the materials, the 
archives of the documents of our art, whose principles their 
officers are bound now to maintain, and for the preservation of 
which they are responsible to posterity." 

With this peculiar view of the character of academies, 



CH. III.] OBJECTIONS TO ART-ACADEMIES 69 

and the prospects of art, few will be inclined to coincide ; 
but many consider academies inimical to the true progress 
of art, on account of their tendency to establish a uniform 
style of art, and to engender mannerism. Mr. E. N. 
Wornum says : 

" It is this suppression of originality, this levelling of all 
capacities to one standard, that is the chief danger to be guarded 
against, in an academic education. That an assembly of 
students, constantly aiming at the same ends, copying the same 
models in the same manner, should acquire a very great same- 
ness of thought and style is not extraordinary; and it is this 
consummation, the trim method of mediocrity, that is the shoal 
that the academic helmsman has to avoid." 

Dr. Waagen, of Berlin, an eminent art-critic, sees no 
good in such institutions, for 

" On comparing a number of specimens of the different 
schools, such as those in Paris, St. Petersburg, and other places, 
all exhibited a striking similarity of manner; while in the 
earlier times, and in the earlier method of teaching, the 
character of the schools of different nations, and that of each 

individual artist, was entirely original and distinct By 

this academic method, which deadened the natural talent, it is 
sufficiently explained why, out of so great a number of academic 
pupils, so few distinguished painters have arisen." 

But, as Mr. Wornum observes, 1 

" It is difficult to see how a well-regulated academy can be 
prejudicial to the arts ; the multiplication of the labourers in 
the field of art, when well instructed, can only be denounced as 
a prejudice to the cause of art by a narrow-minded selfishness 
the labourers in the cause of truth and beauty cannot be 
too numerous. It is perfectly true, on the other hand, that 
academies are not necessary to the production of great artists ; 
it is also an incontestable fact that the rise of academies has 
been coincident with the decline of art ; yet this does not show 
that the latter was a consequence of the former, though it may 



1 See " Lectures on Paintinpr, by tiral and illustrative, by Ralph N. 
the Royal Academicians ; edited Wornum." London : Dohn, 1848. 
with ail introduction and notes, cri- 






70 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [Cn. III. 

be owing to their inefficient systems. However this may be, 
the artists of the seventeenth century, unable to overlook the 
obvious decline of art, hurrying to its consummation, associated 
together for its preservation ; and thus gratuitous academies of 
art supplanted the old-established system of family tuition, to 
which the famous schools of Italy owed nearly all their great- 
ness." 

The Council of the Eoyal Academy 1 distinctly disown 
that it is a tribunal of taste, arrogating to itself the 
superintendence of art, and declare its great object to be 
the promotion of art by instruction and emulation : 

" Within the Academy, the two objects are combined. The 
means of study, and the occasional teaching which directs it, 
are provided ; and competition, even when not public, is always 
unconsciously operating. The instruction in art, which can be 
really useful, is adapted chiefly for the young ; and even among 
them, as Reynolds has observed, * a youth more easily receives 
instruction from the companions of his studies . . . than from 
those who are much his superiors ; and it is from his equals only 
that he catches the fire of emulation.' It is with his fellow- 
students, also, that he contends for the premiums and privileges 
Avhich the Academy offers in its schools. But whatever may be 
the deference to the rules of art, and to works of established 
reputation, which is exacted from beginners, no academic re- 
straint is imposed on the student who enters upon his career 
with the public for his judges. The variety of styles, not only 
among young candidates for fame, but even among the members 
of the Academy themselves, sufficiently proves that no arbitrary 
type, in tastes or methods, is proposed. The student, fortified 
with the requisite elementary instruction, and free to gather his 
impressions and inspirations where he lists, next aims at the 
distinction which a far wider competition offers. The emulation 
which the Academy promotes is then stimulated by the exhibi- 
tion, subsequently by the honours of the institution, and un- 
ceasingly by a rivalry with the best artists in the country." 

From the establishment of the Eoyal Academy, there- 
fore, we may date the foundation of the English School of 



Report of the Council to the General Assembly, I860, p. 16. 



CH. III.] THE ENGLISH SCHOOL 71 

Painting, one which less than any other bears the traces 
of mannerism, or of special characteristics in style and 
subject by which so many foreign schools are painfully 
distinguished. Each of the great masters in this modern 
English school has taken his own view of nature, and his 
own treatment of his subject. It cannot be said that all 
our modern artists of celebrity have imitated those under 
whom they were educated, and thus one of the objections 
urged against art-teaching in academies is at once dis- 
proved, at least so far as our own school is concerned. 
Nature is the great teacher of all who attain to eminence 
as artists ; and there is enough of diversity and variety in 
her aspects of things around us, and in the passions and 
emotions of the human heart within us, to afford abundant 
material for artists to take diverse paths, some to 
luxuriate in the forests and the sheltered glade, some to 
wander in the corn-fields or the meadows, others to 
track the pathless sea, or depict its ebb and flow upon 
the shore, some to picture men in their simplicity, others 
in their pride, to portray the peasant's home, or the 
noble's mansion, the village church, or the cathedral 
city, the teachings of history, alike of olden time and 
of every-day life, and to bring before us some faint 
conceptions of those great themes, in connection with 
Scriptural truths, upon which the faith of our fathers, 
and our own hopes, are built. That this universality of 
subject, combined with a mode of treatment original in 
itself, and free from conventional forms, is the characteristic 
of the English school, is the best token by which to augur 
its future advancement to increasing excellence. 



72 



CHAPTER IV. 

THE FOUNDATION MEMBEES OP THE EOYAL ACADEMY. 

The First President : SIR J. REYNOLDS. 

Professors : ED. PENNY, Painting : THOS. SANDBY, Architecture : SAM. 
WALE, Perspective: DR. W. HUNTER, Anatomy. 

Painters: Historical: BENJ. WEST, (future President), F. BARTOLOZZI, G. 
B. CIPRIANI, M. A. A. C. KATTFFMAN, F. HAYMAN. Portrait: F. 
COTES, J. MEYER, M. CHAMBERLIN, P. TOMS, N. HONE, F. M. NEWTON, 
N. DANCE. Landscape, $c. : G. BARRET, C. CATTON, P. SANDBY, 
J. RICHARDS, D. SERRES, R. WILSON, T. GAINSBOROUGH, F. ZUCCA- 
RELLI, J. BAKER, and M. MOSER. 

Architects: SIR W. CHAMBERS, J. GWYNN, and G. DANCE. 

Sculptm-s : W. TYLER, J. WILTON, G. M. MOSER, R. YEO, and A. CARLINI. 

THE personal history of the foundation members of the 
Eoyal Academy now claims our attention, that we 
may know what sort of men, both in professional ability 
and in individual character, they were to whom the 
direction of the new Institution was entrusted. The list 
of the thirty-four original members nominated by the 
King, certainly included the majority of the most able 
artists of the day, but there were several men of great 
reputation at that time whom we might have expected to 
find added to it : as, for instance, Allan Eamsay, principal 
painter to the King ; Hudson, Highmore, and Eomney, 
the portrait painters ; Samuel Scott, the marine painter ; 
George Knapton, who wrought chiefly in crayons, and 
some others. It is difficult, at this distant period, to know 
why some of these men did not occupy places in the 
Eoyal Academy. Some of them were growing old and 
infirm at the time of its foundation, and the reserved 
habits of Eomney have been assigned as the reason why 



Cn. IV.] SIR J. REYNOLDS 73 

he did not join his brother artists. There was, however, 
a goodly company, notwithstanding these omissions of 
some portion of the art- talent of the day. 

Among the thirty-four artists of whom we have first 
to speak, we find there were twenty-five painters, five 
sculptors and medallists, and four architects. The painters 
might again be subdivided into eight historical, eight 
portrait, seven landscape, and two flower painters. The 
proportion of painters is large compared with architects 
and sculptors ; but it must not be forgotten that their 
works were needed in larger numbers to render the exhi- 
bition (the real source of the revenue of the Academy) 
attractive, and that there were fewer architects and sculp- 
tors in consequence of the little patronage extended to 
those branches of the arts at the time. 

The name of Sir JOSHUA EEYNOLDS, RE. A., must neces- 
sarily be placed first in our brief biographical notices of 
the members, as it stands also at the head of the list of 
artists which this country has produced, as one of the 
founders of the English school of painting. 

He was born at Plympton, near Plymouth, in Devon- 
shire, on the 16th July, 1723. His father was the Eev. 
Samuel Eeynolds, the rector of Plympton St. Mary, and 
master of the Grammar School there. He intended his 
son for the medical profession, and bestowed upon him a 
liberal education ; but as from a child he manifested a 
decided predilection for drawing, his future profession was 
changed to that of an artist. His natural bias towards 
the arts was strengthened by a very early study of the 
" Jesuits' Perspective," and converted into a passion by the 
subsequent perusal ofEichardson's "Treatise on Painting." 
In 1741, when in his eighteenth year, he was placed as 
a pupil for four years with George Hudson, the most 
famous portrait painter of that time. By him he was 
set to copy Guercino's drawings, and soon excited a feel- 
ing of rivalry by his skill in portraiture. This led in 



74 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. IV. 

about two years to disagreement, and Eeynolds, leaving 
Hudson's studio, subsequently practised with William 
Gandy of Exeter. Upon this slight foundation of art- 
instruction, he commenced his career as a portrait painter 
at Plymouth Dock. After the death of his father in 
1746, he returned to London, and commenced practice in 
St. Martin's Lane. In 1749 he went to Italy in company 
with the Hon. Mr. Keppel, his early friend and patron, to 
whom he had been introduced by Lord Mount-Edgcumbe. 
While studying the works in the Vatican at Eome, he 
caught a severe cold, which caused the painful deafness 
to which he was subject during the remainder of his life. 
From Eome he went to Florence, Bologna, Parma, 
Modena, Milan, Padua, and Venice ; and thence through 
Turin to Paris, where he made a short stay, and returned 
to Plymouth towards the end of 1752. This journey was 
judiciously improved by the thoughtful student. He 
copied and sketched from the works of EafFaelle and 
Michael Angelo in some of their more striking delinea- 
tions, but chiefly occupied himself in examining and fixing 
in his mind their peculiar and characteristic excellences ; 
for he was more intent on aspiring to their conceptions, 
than on imitating their mode of execution. The rich 
effects of Venetian tone and colour were especially attrac- 
tive to him, far more so as his practice showed than 
the grandeur of the Eoman school. 

Shortly after his return, he again took up his residence 
in St. Martin's Lane, in a house facing May's Buildings. 
The first specimen of his abilities which attracted atten- 
tion was a portrait of Josep Marchi, a young Italian whom 
he had brought with him as an assistant "from Eome, re- 
presented in the Turkish costume, richly painted in the 
style of Eembrandt. A full-length portrait of Admiral 
Keppel standing on the sea-shore, which he painted soon 
afterwards, was universally admired, and established his 
fame as the first portrait painter of his age and country. 
For some years he lived in a house in Great Newport 



Cn. IV.] SIE J. EEYNOLDS 75 

Street. In 1761 he purchased a house in Leicester 
Square (or Fields, as it was then called), for his collection 
of works of art. This house (No. 47) was filled to the 
remotest corner with casts from the antique, statues, pic- 
tures, drawings, and prints by the various masters of the 
foreign schools. These he looked upon as his library, 
with this advantage that they decorated as well as 
instructed they pleased his eye and informed his mind ; 
they were objects at once of amusement, study, and com- 
petition. Some of the valuable pictures he possessed he 
destroyed in his endeavour to discover the famous " Vene- 
tian secret " in colouring. In this house he lived during 
the remainder of his life. 

The intimacy between Eeynolds and Dr. Johnson com- 
menced with his career in London, and only ended with 
the death of the latter. To this friendship we probably 
owe his literary efforts, and indeed he himself owns that 
Johnson qualified his mind to think justly, even on art. 
The report circulated after his death that either Johnson 
or Burke aided him in the composition of his discourses 
delivered at the Eoyal Academy, is proved to be erroneous 
alike by his own denial of it, the testimony of his pupil 
Northcote, and the fact that Dr. Johnson uttered his warm 
approval of them publicly, which he was too disingenuous 
to have done had he taken any personal part in their pre- 
paration, beyond having given to their author advice as to 
amendments or alterations. 

In 1760 Reynolds sent four pictures to the exhibition 
in Spring Gardens, and the following year exhibited his 
portrait of Lord Ligonier on horseback (now in the Na- 
tional Gallery), and one of Sterne. In 1762 he painted 
4 Garrick between Tragedy and Comedy,' which was pur- 
chased by the Earl of Halifax for 300 guineas. In 1764 
Eeynolds and Johnson instituted the Literary Club, which 
was then limited to twelve members, among whom were 
Oliver Goldsmith and Edmund Burke. In the same 
year Hogarth died, one who differed as much in theory 



76 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. IV. 

and practice from his opposite neighbour in Leicester 
Fields, as he did in disposition and tastes. Eeynolds 
desired to bring men of their common calling together, 
and by study and co-operation to establish for them 
claims to respect and eminence. Hogarth opposed all 
efforts to establish such an academy, and stood apart and 
alone from his brother artists. The one urged the con- 
stant study of the old masters, the other would hear of 
no school but that of nature ; and while he was rough 
and rude, and despite his good nature sometimes antago- 
nistic and obstinate, the other was able to smile on all, 
while singling out some few for especial marks of warm 
and gracious regard. His own nature as a true gentle- 
man shed its influence over his portraits, and hence their 
charm and his eminent success. These attributes also were 
in themselves an additional qualification for the dignified 
position he attained when, as we have already seen, he 
was unanimously elected President of the Eoyal Academy. 
It would have been impossible to have found a man more 
eminently qualified for the position among the artists of 
Great Britain which he thus attained. Deeply imbued 
with the loftiest theories of art, which he had studied at 
the fountain-head in the works of the great masters, and 
himself a painter of rare excellence, Eeynolds possessed at 
the same time literary attainments of a high order, which 
enabled him to give adequate expression to whatever he 
most desired to instil into the minds of the students of art 
assembled in the Academy, and a disposition so courteous 
and generous as to secure the respect and affection of all 
those by whom he was surrounded. The readers of John- 
son, Burke, and Goldsmith, need not to be told how much 
he was beloved and revered by his associates, while every 
succeeding generation owes him its gratitude for pre- 
serving to them the portraits of the thoughtful foreheads 
of many writers and statesmen of his time, and the sweet 
smiles of many noble matrons. 

To deliver lectures was no part of the duty of the 



CH. IV.] SIR J. REYNOLDS 77 

President of the Royal Academy ; it was a task which he 
imposed upon himself in his zeal for the advancement of 
the arts ; and the fifteen discourses on the Principles and 
Practice of Painting, which he addressed to the students 
at the annual distribution of prizes, have been translated 
into several languages, and continue to be studied for the 
many admirable suggestions and criticisms on art which 
they contain. 

The earlier works of Eeynolds did not possess the ex- 
cellences which are found in his later productions ; but 
the man who could unite to the dignified resemblance 
of the head, an endless variety of spirited and graceful 
attitudes, picturesque backgrounds, novel and striking 
effects of light and shade, and a rich harmony of colour, 
was at every stage of his career entitled to a very high 
place as an artist. He was one of the few whose effort 
to improve ended but with his life ; he was heard to say 
that he never began a picture without a determination to 
make it his best ; and his continued advancement justified 
the maxim he was so frequently inculcating, " that nothing 
is denied to well-directed industry." Johnson used to 
say that he was one who early bore down all opposition 
before him, and left emulation panting behind him ; and 
that while securing as the summit of human felicity the 
first place, he was not spoilt by the most rare and en- 
viable prosperity he attained. 

In 1773 Sir Joshua painted his celebrated picture of 
4 Count Ugolino and his Sons,' from Dante, which was pur- 
chased by the Duke of Dorset for 400 guineas. In the same 
year he was created Doctor of Civil Law by the University 
of Oxford, and about the same period he was also elected a 
member of the Imperial Academy at Florence. In 1779 
he ornamented the ceiling of the library of the Academy 
at Somerset Ilouse with an allegorical painting represent- 
ing ' Theory ' bearing a scroll inscribed, " Theory is the 
knowledge of what is truly nature." In the summer of 
1781, with a view of examining critically the works of 



78 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [Cn. IV. 

the celebrated masters of the Flemish and Dutch schools, 
he made the tour of Holland and Flanders. He pub- 
lished an account of this journey, containing much excel- 
lent criticism on the works of Eubens, Vandyke, Eem- 
brandt, &c. in the churches and different collections at 
Antwerp, Brussels, Ghent, Dusseldorff, and Amsterdam, 
concluding with a masterly drawn character of Eubens. 
During the three succeeding years, Sir Joshua was en- 
gaged upon his designs for the window of New College 
Chapel, Oxford. These consisted of seven allegorical 
figures of the four Cardinal and the three Christian graces, 
surmounted by the ' Nativity.' 

In 1783, in consequence of the suppression of some 
religious houses, he again visited Flanders, purchased 
some pictures by Eubens, and devoted several more days 
to the contemplation and further investigation of the 
works of that master. In the same year, Mr. Mason's 
translation of " Du Fresney's Art of Painting " was pub- 
lished, with notes subjoined by Sir Joshua Eeynolds, con- 
sisting chiefly of practical observations and explanations 
of the rules laid down by the author of the poem. These 
works, his Academy Lectures, three contributions at an 
earlier period to Johnson's " Idler," and a few notes to 
his friend's edition of Shakspeare, constitute the whole of 
his literary productions. In 1784 he painted the famous 
allegorical portrait of ' Mrs. Siddons as the Tragic Muse,' 
which was sold to Mr. Smith for 700 guineas. In the 
same year, upon the death of Allan Eanisay, he was ap- 
pointed principal painter in ordinary to the King, in which 
office he continued till his death. In 1786 he painted 
the c Infant Hercules strangling the serpents in the cradle,' 
for the Empress Catherine of Eussia. It was sent to St. 
Petersburg in 1789, and in the following year the Eussian 
Ambassador presented him with a gold box having the 
portrait of the Empress upon the lid, set with large 
diamonds. Fifteen hundred guineas were afterwards paid 
to his executors as the price of this picture. For Boydell's 



CH. IV.] SIR J. REYNOLDS 79 

Shakspeare Gallery he painted three pictures, ' The 
cauldron scene in Macbeth,' 'Puck, from Midsummer 
Night's Dream,' and ' The death of Cardinal Beaufort.' 

From the year 1769 to 1790 inclusive, Eeynolds sent no 
less than 244 pictures to the exhibition of the Eoyal Aca- 
demy. Besides 'the Holy Family' and 'Lord Ligonier,' 
already referred to, there are several other pictures by him 
in the National Collections : ' The Graces decorating a 
figure of Hymen ; ' ' The Infant Samuel ; ' ' Heads of 
Angels ;' ' The Age of Innocence ;' ' The banished Lord ;' a 
study for ' Count Ugolino ;' and portraits of himself, Lord 
Heathfield, Et. Hon. W. Wyndham, Sir W. Hamilton, and 
Sir A. Hume. 

His assiduity and love for his profession left him little 
leisure ; and his whole life, to the time when his sight 
failed, was passed in the diligent and unwearied pur- 
suit of his art, at once his business and his pleasure, 
uninterrupted by sickness or misfortune. The hours ne- 
cessary for relaxation were chiefly spent in the company 
of his numerous friends and acquaintance ; these were 
gathered around him as well on system as from inclina- 
tion ; for finding that his professional pursuits debarred 
him the regular and ordinary modes of study, he adopted 
this as an agreeable method of gaining at the same time 
knowledge and amusement. Hence, at his table, for above 
thirty years, were occasionally assembled all the men of 
taste, talent, and genius of the kingdom men who were 
remarkable for their attainments in literature or the arts, 
in the pulpit or the bar, in the senate or the field. 

For many years Sir Joshua enjoyed uninterrupted good 
health, to which his habit of standing while painting may 
have in some degree contributed. In 1782, he was 
afllicted by a paralytic stroke, from which he quickly re- 
covered ; but in July 1789, while engaged in painting 
his portrait of the Marchioness of Hertford, he found his 
sight so much affected that it was with difficulty he could 
proceed with his work ; and notwithstanding every assis- 



80 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [Cn. I\\ 

tance that could be procured, he was in a few months 
totally deprived of the use of his left eye. After many 
struggles, lie resolved, lest his remaining eye should suffer, 
to paint no more ; and though he was thus deprived of a 
constant and engrossing amusement, he retained his usual 
spirits, and enjoyed the society of his friends with the 
same apparent pleasure as before. In October 1791, 
however, his spirits began to fail him, and he became 
alarmed lest an inflamed tumour, which came over the 
eye which was lost, might occasion the destruction of the 
other also. A disease, which he could neither describe 
nor point out to physicians, was secretly gathering strength ; 
and it was only a fortnight before his death that he dis- 
covered that the liver had attained such an inordinate 
growth as to incommode all the functions of life. After 
a confinement of three months, and an illness which he 
bore with great patience and fortitude, he died at his 
house in Leicester Fields, on Thursday evening, the 
23rd of February, 1792. His body was laid in state 
at the Academy at Somerset House till the 3rd of 
March, when it was interred in the crypt of St. Paul's 
Cathedral, near the tomb of Sir Christopher Wren. On 
this mournful occasion, every honour was paid that could 
be shown to worth and genius ; a great number of dis- 
tinguished persons joined the funeral procession, and his 
pall was supported by three dukes, two marquises, and 
five other noblemen. Some years afterwards, a statue, by 
Flaxman, was erected to his memory in the cathedral. 

In stature, Sir Joshua Eeynolds was rather under the 
middle size, of a florid complexion, with blunt features, 
possessing a lively, pleasing aspect. His manner was 
particularly polished and agreeable, and he possessed a 
constant flow of spirits, which enabled him in society to 
find amusement readily, and easily to contribute to the 
entertainment of others. Though he had been almost 
deaf from the time of his return from Italy, yet, by the 
aid of an ear-trumpet, he was enabled to participate in 



CH. IV.] SIE J. REYNOLDS 81 

the conversation of his friends with great facility. 1 He 
was never married, and bequeathed the principal por- 
tion of his property, which amounted to 80,000, to his 
niece, Miss Palmer, who was shortly afterwards married 
to the Earl of Inchiquin, subsequently created Marquis of 
Thomond. His collection of works of art sold for about 
17,000. It has been stated that shortly before his death, 
Sir Joshua offered these examples of excellence in art, at 
a very low price, to the Eoyal Academy, on the condition 
that they should purchase a gallery for their reception ; 
but the records of the Academy do not show that such a 
proposal was ever made. 

Reynolds has been justly regarded as the founder of 
the British School of Painting. Through a happy com- 
bination, and a judicious and skilful application of qualities, 
whether originating in natural feeling or acquired by 
selection from other artists, he struck out a new path in 
portrait painting ; and by uniting graceful composition 
and breadth of light and shade with a rich and mellow 
tone of colouring, he invented a style of his own. The 
portraits by his master, Hudson, and by Eamsay, who 
enjoyed the highest public patronage when Sir Joshua 
returned from his travels, were uniformly dry and hard, 
with little diversity of attitude, following strictly the 
formal fashion then prevailing, and wanting individual 
expression. Reynolds, with a more comprehensive view 
of his art, by originality in taste and facile execution, 
showed how portraiture might be generalised, so as to 
identify the individual man with the dignity of the human 
mind. In dress, he selected and adopted what was most 
conformable to the character of his subject, without im- 
plicitly following or offending the prejudices then preva- 

1 An nllnainn to tllifl infirmity 18 Illi pencil wa rtriklng, roUllew. and grand : 

An IU11 18 .,,,!, i IIU manner* were Kei.tle.ci.mi.l.vii.K, and bland | 

found in Oliver Goldsmith H Kindly Still born to Improve ... In every part. 

.. * i. _j _ v;_ , Ili iicncil our fare*. h! mani.cn our heart : 

epitaph on his fnend in oil pot-in To COJtcornb . mvcrie% .. ct m<- t civilly icermg^- 

" Retaliation." the last production Of When they Judgtd without .kill he wat .lill hard 

. of hearing : 

1118 gifted pen : When they talked of their Kaffkcllef, Correggiot, 

"SWsrttirir&tt^aK? mlnd - 

VOL. I. G 



82 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. IV. 

lent. His female portraits are designed with an exquisite 
feeling of taste and elegance ; and for the variety of com- 
position manifest in his works, we shall in vain seek for a 
parallel among his most celebrated predecessors. In the 
pursuit of those high attainments to which he arrived, he 
evidently had Eembrandt and Correggio more particularly 
in his mind ; but the magical effect and richness of co- 
louring of the great Dutch masters seem to have been 
made by him a constant source of reflection and experi- 
ment. 

In the higher department of historical painting, he 
cannot be said to hold the same pre-eminence, although 
his works of this kind display great strength of mind ; 
and it is to be regretted that his occupation as a portrait- 
painter did not enable him to cultivate this style in pre- 
ference. His ' Count Ugolino,' for pathos and grandeur 
of design, yields perhaps to no composition that was ever 
made upon that subject ; and his ' Holy Family,' when 
considered with it, will serve to exhibit at one view the 
comprehensiveness and diversity of his genius. Drawing, 
as he candidly confessed, was the branch of his art in 
which he was most defective ; and sometimes, from not 
being able to determine his forms, he was obliged to go 
again over the same part of the picture, till some of the 
vivacity of his touch was lost ; but the spirit and sweet- 
ness of that touch was so admirable that he added force 
and harmony to his picture by every repetition. Colour- 
ing was evidently his first excellence, to which all others 
were more or less sacrificed ; and though in splendour 
and brilliancy he was exceeded by Eubens and Paul 
Veronese, in force and depth by Titian and Eembrandt, 
and in freshness and truth by Velasquez and Vandyke, 
yet perhaps he possessed a more exquisite combination of 
all these qualities, and that peculiarly his own, than is 
to be found in the works of any of those celebrated 
masters. Hence it is that, though a few works executed 
by him may be deemed exceptionable, the majority of 



CH. IV.] EDWARD PENNY 83 

his productions will never fail to excite admiration so long 
as the true principles of art are properly estimated. 



Next to the president, the first Professors of the Eoyal 
Academy claim our notice. These were EDWAED PENNY, 
the Professor of Painting ; THOMAS SANDBY, Professor of 
Architecture ; SAMUEL WALE, Professor of Perspective ; and 
DR. WILLIAM HUNTEE, Professor of Anatomy. 

EDWAED PENNY, E.A., was for some time previously to 
his appointment Vice-Presiderit of the Incorporated Society 
of Artists. He was born at Knutsford, in Cheshire, in 
1714 ; and early indicating a taste for painting, was sent 
to London, and placed under the tuition of Hudson, the 
master of Eeynolds. Subsequently he proceeded to 
Eome, and there studied under the direction of Marco 
Benefiali. His principal employment was as a portrait- 
painter, his small heads in oil-colour being very much 
admired. Besides these labours the one branch of the 
art needful for painters to obtain subsistence in those 
days he employed his skill upon historical and senti- 
mental subjects, many of which were exhibited at the 
Eoyal Academy. Some of his chief works of this de- 
scription were engraved among others, the 'Death of 
General Wolfe' the 'Marquis of Granby relieving a sick 
Soldier' and 'Virtue and Profligacy Contrasted ' in two 
pictures. As Professor of Painting at the Eoyal Academy, 
he delivered an annual series of lectures, which were 
favourably received. In 1783 his health declined, and 
he was in consequence compelled to resign his professor- 
ship. He had, prior to this time, married a lady of pro- 
perty ; and he now took up his abode at Chiswick, and 
lived in quiet retirement till he died, on the 15th No- 
vember, 1791. He frequently expressed his intention of 
printing the ingenious course of lectures on painting he 
delivered at the Eoyal Academy, but died without ful- 
filling it, nor has the MS. since been sent to the press. 

o 2 



84 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [Cn. IV. 

THOMAS SAXDBY,E.A., the first Professor of Architecture 
at the Eoyal Academy, was born at Nottingham in 1721, 
and is said to have had his thoughts first directed to the 
arts as a profession by having perse veringly pursued a 
new system of perspective, which he brought to a state 
of great perfection and readiness of application. En- 
couraged by the reputation he acquired by a drawing of 
his native town made upon these novel rules, he came to 
London, and was in 1743 appointed draughtsman to the 
chief engineer in Scotland. In this capacity he was at 
Fort William, in the Highlands, when the Pretender 
landed, and was the first person who conveyed intelli- 
gence of the event to Government in 1745. In recogni^ 
tion of his merits as an artist, and his services to the 
State, H. E. H. William Duke of Cumberland appointed 
him his peculiar draughtsman ; and after the termination 
of the struggle in Scotland, he followed the Duke in his 
campaigns in Flanders. 

In 1746 he was made Deputy-Hanger of Windsor 
Great Park, an appointment which he held for fifty-two 
years. In this capacity, combined with his professional 
position as architect to the King, he planned in 1754 the 
construction of the Virginia Water, the largest artificial 
lake in the kingdom, and shortly afterwards published a 
series of eight folio views, illustrating the improvements 
and alterations in Windsor Great Park effected by his 
labours. In 1755 he was one of the committee of artists 
who combined to propose a plan for the foundation of a 
public academy for the cultivation of the arts. Subse- 
quently he joined the Incorporated Society, and was 
eventually chosen one of the foundation members of the 
Eoyal Academy ; and as the Professor of Architecture, 
he continued annually, until 1796, to deliver lectures on 
architecture at the Academy, largely illustrated by his 
own drawings. These lectures were never published ; 
but the original manuscript was presented by the late 
John Britton to the library of the Eoyal Institute of 



CH. IV.] THOMAS SAXDBY 85 

British Architects. His aim, in addressing the students, 
appears to have been, not so much to propound new 
theories, as to correct the false taste of the period : to 
lay down the simple foundation principles of the art as 
clearly as possible, and to lead the young architect to com- 
bine in all his designs utility with elegance, and harmony 
with variety. His executors offered the MS. to the Eoyal 
Academy for publication ; but it was declined by the 
Council on the ground that they did not possess sufficient 
funds to apply so large a sum as would be required for 
the purpose, in consequence of the numerous pictorial 
illustrations he had introduced in them. For two years 
preceding his death, ill-health rendered him unable to 
deliver his lectures, and Edward Edwards, A.E.A., read 
them for him from 1796 to 1798. 

A large number of his drawings are in the Soane 
Museum, the print-room of the British Museum, and the 
royal collection at Windsor Castle, and display both 
architectural correctness and pictorial taste. Although 
the water-colour drawings by his brother, Paul Sandby, 
are well known, those by Thomas Sandby, which excelled 
them in careful and exquisite finish of all the details, 
and equalled them in general artistic eff6ct, are not 
regarded as they deserve to be, principally because he is 
popularly supposed to have been an architect only, and 
because he exhibited but few of the many drawings he 
made during his long and active life. 

Freemason's Hall in London was built from his design 
in 1775. The elaborately carved wainscoting around 
the altar of St. George's Chapel, Windsor, comprising the 
arms and ensigns of the original Knights of the Garter, 
and many sacramental ornaments and symbols, was de- 
signed by him ; and in 17C8 he gained the first prize in 
the competition for the erection of the Eoyal Exchange 
in Dublin equally with Cooley ; but the latter being an 
Irishman, obtained the commission. A design by him 
for an ornamental bridge across the Thames at Somerset 



86 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [Cn. IV. 

House, which he introduced in one of his lectures, 
attracted great attention at the time ; but he never pro- 
posed that a bridge should be erected from that design, 
in consequence of the great expense which would have 
attended its construction. He died at the Deputy-Ranger's 
Lodge, in Windsor Great Park, on the 25th June, 1798, 
in his 77th year, and was buried at Old Windsor. 

SAMUEL WALE, E.A., appointed Professor of Perspective, 
was born at Yarmouth, in Norfolk, and was first instructed 
in the art of engraving on plate. He afterwards studied 
design in the St. Martin's Lane Academy ; and as a painter 
imitated the style of Francis Hayman. He executed 
several decorative pieces for ceilings, a style of ornamen- 
tation which was then, after many years of favour, about 
to pass away. There are a few slight etchings preserved 
of vignettes by him from his own designs. His chief 
employment was drawing for book-illustration, the greater 
number of his designs for this purpose being engraved 
with great spirit by Charles Grignion. Among them is a 
series of illustrations to Izaac Walton's " Angler." He de- 
signed the frontispiece for the first exhibition catalogue 
of the Society of Artists, and occasionally painted trades- 
men's signs. One of his most famous productions of this 
kind was a full-length portrait of Shakspeare, which hung 
across the road at the north-east corner of Little Russell 
Street, Drury Lane, and which, with its elaborate frame, is 
said to have cost 500. His drawings, as exhibited at the 
Royal Academy, were described as " stained or washed 
drawings," being careful outlines slightly coloured, which 
were then the feeble representatives of our modern water- 
colour school. His subjects were generally taken from 
early English history. 

In addition to these works, he acquired a good know- 
ledge of architecture and perspective, and greatly as- 
sisted Mr. Gwynn in the decoration of his architectural 
drawings, particularly in the section of St. Paul's, and 



CH. IV.] SAMUEL WALE DR. HUNTER 87 

was of service to him in the literary part of his publi- 
cations. This qualified him for the office to which he 
was appointed on the foundation of the Eoyal Academy, 
as its first professor of Perspective. From a natural 
timidity of disposition, he is said to have exhibited, 
in delivering his lectures, a painful diffidence in the com- 
munication of a knowledge of the principles which he so 
thoroughly understood a not uncommon result of a man 
late in life being called upon to appear, for the first time, 
as a public instructor. Latterly, on account of ill-health, 
he was unable to attend to his public duties in the 
Academy, and instructed the students by giving private 
lessons on perspective at his own house. His successor, 
Edwards, was also a teacher and not a lecturer on perspec- 
tive, a course of twenty lessons being thought more useful 
than a series of six lectures. On the death of Richard 
Wilson in 1782, he was appointed to succeed him as 
librarian, and lie held both offices till he died on the 6th 
of February, 1786, in Little Court, Castle Street, Leicester 
Fields. 

Of Dr. WILLIAM HUNTER, the Professor of Anatomy, it 
is not necessary to speak. The elder brother of the 
famous John Hunter, he was scarcely inferior to him in 
science, and was also a good scholar, a clear and elegant 
writer, and an accomplished gentleman. In 1765 he 
offered to expend 7000 to found an anatomical school in 
London, if the Government would grant a site for it ; but 
his munificent intention was not carried out. How much 
his lectures on anatomy at the Royal Academy conduced 
to the instruction of the students in art, we may infer from 
the value of the information which such a man was able 
to give on all the details of the structure of the human 
form. 

Passing from the professors to the general members of 
the Academy, we proceed to notice the historical painters, 



88 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. IV. 

excluding for the present BENJAMIN WEST, whose career 
we shall have to trace at a later period of this history. 
F. Bartolozzi, G. B. Cipriani, A. Kauffman, and F. 
Hayman, are of this number ; and, with the exception of 
the last-named, were foreigners domiciled in England for 
some time prior to the foundation of the Eoyal Academy. 

EANCESCO BARTOLOZZI, E.A., was born at Florence, on 
the 21st of September, 1728, and was the son of Gaetana 
Bartolozzi, a goldsmith and filagree- worker. He received 
his first instruction in drawing from Hugfort Ferretti, in 
the Florentine Academy, where his acquaintance with 
Cipriani commenced. He was taught engraving by Joseph 
Wagner of Venice, and when the term of his engagement 
with that master had expired, he married a Venetian lady 
and went to Rome, whither he had been invited by 
Cardinal Bottari. Here he established his reputation by 
his fine plates from the life of St. Nilus, and by a series of 
portraits for a new edition of " Vasari." Having completed 
these works he returned to Venice, where he was engaged 
by Mr. Dalton, the librarian to King George III., to engrave 
a set of drawings by Guercino. Both by the artist and 
the amateur these etchings are regarded as among the 
most valuable of his works. In the imitation of these 
drawings, as well as of every other artist's performance 
that came under the power of his burin, Bartolozzi gave a 
character of beauty and sweetness perhaps beyond the 
prototype. On the completion of this work, Mr. Dalton 
invited him to England, to continue engraving for the King 
on a stipend of 300 per annum, and Bartolozzi readily 
accepted the offer. Some of his earliest performances 
after his arrival in this country, were designs for 
tickets for the select performances at the Opera House, 
cards for balls and other amusements, many of which 
were executed gratuitously, and as marks of his kindness 
and regard. Miss Banks, the daughter of Sir Joseph 
Banks, made a collection of these etchings, and presented 



Cn. IV.] FRANCESCO BARTOLOZZI 89 

them to the British Museum. He evinced so much talent 
in these limited subjects, and won so much popularity by 
them, as to excite the jealousy of the celebrated engraver, 
Sir Eobert Strange, who ungraciously pronounced him in- 
capable of executing anything else. It was quickly shown 
how untrue the assertion was, for Bartolozzi immediately 
commenced his engraving of ' Clytia,' after Annibal 
Carracci ; and that of ' The Virgin and Child,' after 
Carlo Dolci. These plates are well known, and are in 
the highest degree brilliant and spirited. Before the 
appearance of the former of these works, Strange's en- 
graving of 'The Sleeping Cupid,' after Guido, had 
attracted great attention, and was considered one of the 
finest examples of English line-engraving. On completing 
his ' Clytia,' Bartolozzi felt that he was entering into com- 
petition with this artist, for he is reported to have said, 
"Let Strange beat that if he can." Among the larger 
works of Bartolozzi in the same style, the ' Venus, Cupid, 
and Satyr,' after Giordano, and the ' Silence ' of Correggio, 
are celebrated as very beautiful specimens of his talent and 
execution. By some his ' Diploma ' of the Eoyal Academy 
has been thought his best work, and is by all acknow- 
ledged to be beautifully executed as a line engraving. It 
was rather as an eminently skilful designer, than as a 
painter, that Bartolozzi was nominated as a member of the 
lloyal Academy, for his ability as an engraver would not 
alone have entitled him to a place among them under the 
instrument of institution. 1 It was right that it was so : 
for to denominate him a mere engraver, would be unjust 
to one who not only attained the power of imitating the 
works of others to perfection, but possessed in himself a 
refined taste, and great skill in portraying the conceptions 
of his own mind. 



1 Strange states that Bartolozzi were exhibited by him at the Royal 

was persuaded to exhibit a Hinjrlo Academy during successive years, 

drawing to qualify himself fur mum- the statement requires no further 

but as several drawings contradiction. 



90 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. IV. 

At this time he engraved a large number of the paint- 
ings and drawings of his early friend Cipriani, who had 
likewise settled in England. These, as they mostly exhi- 
bited the grace and beauty of the human form, gave him 
the opportunity of displaying his taste and the rich charac- 
ter of his style, in a higher degree than works which re- 
quired greater variety and closer imitation. In these 
productions the styles of the painter and engraver har- 
monise admirably, grace and refinement are the character- 
istics of each ; and their works for a considerable time 
held almost unrivalled possession of the public favour. 
The only objection urged against them is that they 
exhibit a certain excess of softness and finish incompatible 
with vigour. One of the earliest patrons of Bartolozzi 
was Alderman Boydell, for whose Shakspeare gallery he 
engraved a number of fine plates. Frontispieces and 
book-prints appeared in rapid succession from his hand, 
and during a long life he seems to have been incessantly 
at work; but like many others in his profession, who 
earned sufficient to supply all their wants, Bartolozzi 
made no provision for any but the passing hour. Hence 
it frequently happened that he was compelled to resort to 
a variety of expedients to replenish his resources. Chalk 
engravings, after the caricaturist Bunbury, and other sub- 
jects not possessing the higher qualities of art, for this 
reason frequently engaged his time ; and his studio thus 
became a manufactory for plates of a very inferior style 
of art. Notwithstanding these casualties in his practice, 
Bartolozzi, during his residence in England, did much to 
raise the standard of our school of engravers and de- 
signers. He met with general encouragement, and em- 
ployment sufficiently remunerative to have enabled him to 
provide amply for his latter days. Having long held the 
appointment of engraver to King George IH., late in life a 
pension was offered to him, which, however, he declined. 
In 1802 he received an invitation from the Prince Eegent 
of Portugal to settle at Lisbon, to superintend a school of 



On. IV.] G. B. CIPRIANI 01 

engravers. There he met with all the respect due to his 
talents, and received the honour of knighthood. He was 
of a kind and generous disposition, and gladly promoted 
the success of others. He had many pupils, some of 
whom rose to eminence in their profession. He died at 
Lisbon in 1815, in the 88th year of his age. 

GIOVANNI BAPTISTA CIPRIANI, R A., whose name we have 
already mentioned, in connection with his friend Bartolozzi, 
was descended from an ancient Tuscan family of Pistoria, 
and was born at Florence, in 1727. He received his 
first instruction in art from Heckford, an Englishman 
residing there, and also studied the works of Gabbiani, a 
Florentine painter of the period. His first works are in 
the Abbey of St. Michael-on-the-Sea, at Pelago. He 
studied for three years at Eome, and in 1755, he accompa- 
nied Sir William Chambers from thence to England, where 
he spent the remainder of his life. He lived in a house 
in Hedge Lane, near Charing Cross. When the Duke of 
Richmond opened his Gallery of Sculpture, Cipriani, and 
Wilton the sculptor, were appointed to direct the students, 
and the former instructed the painters, while the latter 
guided the sculptors. He painted the designs on the 
panels of the magnificent state-coach, used by George III. 
for the first time, on the 15th of November, 1762. 

On the institution of the Eoyal Academy, having been 
nominated by the King as one of its members, he was 
directed to make the design for the Diploma, and was 
presented with a silver cup by the Academy, in acknow- 
ledgment of their appreciation of his services. It was, 
unfortunately, stolen from his son's house, ten years after 
his own death. 1 He executed very few large works in 
painting ; but he has left a large number of small drawings, 



1 It bore the following inscription : Arts in London, ns nn acknowledg- 

" This Cup is presented to J. Jt. inent for the assistance the Academy 

Cipriani, It. A., by the President and has received from his great abilities 

Council of the 'lloyal Academy of iu his profession." 



92 HISTORY OF TIIE ROYAL ACADEMY [Cn. IV. 

which are greatly admired for their correctness of form, 
fertility of invention, and harmonious colouring, and are 
well known by the exquisite engravings made from them 
by Bartolozzi. After he came to this country, Cipriani 
married an English lady, of moderate fortune, by whom 
he had three children. Fuseli said of him that the facility 
of his invention, the graces of his composition, and the 
seductive elegance of his forms, were only surpassed by 
the probity of his character, the simplicity of his manners, 
and the benevolence of his heart. This character he main- 
tained till his death, which took place at Hammersmith, 
on the 14th of December, 1785. He is buried at Chelsea. 

MARIE ANNE ANGELIQUE CATHERINE KAUFFMAN, E.A., 
one of the two ladies who were honoured by nomination 
to membership with the Eoyal Academicians, was the 
daughter of a Swiss portrait-painter, Jean Joseph Kaufftnan, 
and was born at Coire, the capital of the Grisons, in 1742. 
She acquired the first principles of drawing and painting 
from her father, whom she soon excelled, and showed 
equal facility in the acquirement of a knowledge of music. 
By diligent study at Milan, Florence, Eome and Naples, 
she greatly increased her skill in painting, and, in 1765, 
came to England, in company with Lady Wentworth. 
Here a very brilliant reputation had already preceded 
her, through the eulogium which had been written upon 
her by the Abbe Winckehnann ; and being patronised by 
royalty, she quickly obtained a high place in her profession. 
Everywhere her talents, her charm of manner, and her 
beauty, brought her panygeric, and created an enthusiasm 
of admiration. She resided at first with her patroness, in 
Charles Street, Berkeley Square, and afterwards in a house 
she took in Golden Square, where she was joined by her 
father. 

During a residence of seventeen years in this country 
she was rewarded both by honours and pecuniary success ; 
but, unfortunately, in January 1769, the footman of the 



H. IV.] ANGELICA KAUFFMAN 93 

Count Frederic de Horn, of a noble Swedish family, per- 
sonated his master in his absence, and imposed so sadly 
on the fair painter that she was duped into a marriage 
with him. As soon as it was discovered, he was forced 
to sign a deed of separation, by which he agreed to 
remain abroad, and leave his wife unmolested, if granted 
an annuity. Much sympathy, and some scandal, were 
occasioned by this unhappy business ; but she devoted 
herself for consolation unceasingly to her art. As soon 
as she received tidings of the death of this worthless 
husband, in 1782, she contracted a marriage with Antonio 
Zucchi, a Venetian painter, and returned with him and 
her father to Eome. This, her second husband died in 
1795 ; and gradually her fame and success declined for 
several years before her death, which occurred at Eome, 
on 5th of November, 1805. She was buried in the 
Church of St. Andrea delle Frati, her funeral being con- 
ducted with great pomp and solemnity, under the direction 
of the sculptor Canova. Dr. Borsi, of Rome, thus wrote 
to describe the last honours paid to her memory : 

" The church was decorated in the manner customary on the 
interment of those of noble family. At ten in the morning the 
corpse was accompanied to the church by two very numerous 
fraternities, fifty capuchins and fifty priests. The bier was 
carried by some of the brotherhood, and the four corners of the 
pall were supported by four young ladies, dressed suitably to 
the occasion. The four tassels were held by the four principal 
members of the Academy of St. Luke. These were followed 
by the rest of the academicians, and other virtuosi, each one 
with a large wax taper, lighted, in his hand. Two pictures, 
painted by the deceased, completed the procession." 

She made several etchings from her own works, and 
many of her most admired paintings were engraved by 
Bartolozzi, whose beautiful transcripts of her productions 
have contributed greatly to the growtli and perpetuity of 
her fame. Her representations of female figures are 
distinguished for an air of grace, purity, tenderness, and 



94 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [Cn. IV. 

elegance ; but her male impersonations are altogether 
devoid of character. Her designs were not wanting in 
classical correctness, nor was her colouring deficient in 
mellow and harmonious effects ; but her best works were 
her graceful female portraits, and single figures. Her 
agreeable manners, and many accomplishments, no doubt 
contributed towards her success as an artist, in which 
capacity her powers were considerable, although not of 
that very high degree which some would assign to them. 
An allegorical picture by her of eleven figures, ' Eeligion 
attended by the Virtues,' is in the National Collection. 

FEANCIS HAYMAN, E.A., was descended from a respectable 
family in the West of England, and was born at Exeter 
in 1708. He was a pupil of Eobert Brown, the portrait 
painter ; and coming to London while young, was much 
employed as a scene-painter by Fleetwood, the proprietor 
of old Drury Lane Theatre, with whom he lived on terms 
of great intimacy, and, after his death, married his widow. 
The principal productions of his pencil were the historical 
paintings which Tyers, the proprietor of Vauxhall, em- 
ployed him to execute for the decoration of some of the 
apartments at that then fashionable place of amusement. 
His painting of the ' Finding of Moses ' was presented by 
him to the Foundling Hospital, when several artists 
united to enrich the institution by gifts of their works. 
He also furnished designs for the illustration of Sir 
Thomas Hanmer's edition of " Shakspeare," and for the 
works of Milton, Pope, and Cervantes. 

Before the arrival of Cipriani he was regarded as the 
best historical painter in England, and was elected as 
President of the Incorporated Society of Artists, in suc- 
cession to Lambert, but was excluded from the office in 
the subsequent dissensions. 

He was the first librarian appointed by the King to the 
Eoyal Academy, being nominated to that situation in 
1770, that he might enjoy its emoluments (small as they 



CH. IV.] F. HAYMAN F. COTES 95 

were), in consequence of his bodily infirmities, which in 
the evening of his life pressed heavily upon him. He 
died at his house, No. 42, Dean Street, Soho, on the 2nd 
of February, 1776, having long been a martyr to the 
gout ; yet he nevertheless retained to his last hour all the 
volatility of youth, and, being possessed of much sterling 
sense, an agreeable manner, and a large fund of good 
humour, he was always gladly welcomed in society. 
As an artist, he seems to have based his style of painting 
on the manner of the old English school ; and although 
he never possessed the advantage of studying the works 
of the great masters at Eome or elsewhere, he uniformly 
acknowledged the merits of Michael Angelo, Raphael, 
and their contemporaries, and defended their memory by 
his poignant satire against the attacks of Hogarth. 

The portrait painters among the first Royal Academi- 
cians, who next claim our attention, were Francis Cotes, 
Jeremiah Meyer, Mason Chamberlin, Peter Toms, Na- 
thaniel Hone, F. M. Newton, Nathaniel Dance, and Thomas 
Gainsborough. Of the latter, however, we prefer to speak 
among the landscape painters, as, although occupying a 
very high and enviable position as a portrait painter, he 
seems to be more familiarly associated with the founders 
of our English school of landscape painting. 

FRANCIS COTES, E.A., was the son of an apothecary, and 
was born in Cork Street, London, in 1725. He was a pupil 
of George Knapton, and is chiefly famous for his crayon 
portraits, which are unrivalled for truthfulness and beauty, 
and in which style Lord Orford compared his works to 
those of Rosalba. He was also an excellent painter in 
oil, and in the opinion of Hogarth and many others, his 
works were considered equal to those of Sir Joshua. His 
portraits are full of truth, grace, and beauty, and bear a 
great resemblance to those of Gainsborough and Reynolds, 
which may be accounted for in part by the circumstance 



96 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. IV. 

that he and they alike employed the same artist, Peter 
Toms, to paint most of the draperies in their pictures. 
Among his best works were a full-length of Queen 
Charlotte holding the Princess Eoyal on her lap, engraved 
by Eyland ; Mrs. Child, of Osterly Park ; Mrs. Cotes ; 
Paul Sandby and his wife (both engraved by M'Ardell) ; 
Miss Wilton, the beautiful daughter of the sculptor, after- 
wards Lady Chambers ; O'Brien, the comedian ; and some 
others which have been engraved by Bartolozzi, M'Ardell, 
Green, &c. A fine specimen of his talent is preserved in 
the council-room of the Eoyal Academy a portrait of 
old Mr. Eobert Cotes. His practice was both extensive 
and lucrative, and enabled him to occupy the house in 
Cavendish Square, which was subsequently the residence 
of Eomney and Sir M. A. Shee. In early life he was 
afflicted with the stone, and he died in the prime of life, 
somewhat suddenly, at the house he had built for himself 
(No. 32 Cavendish Square), in consequence of impru- 
dently taking soap-lees for the cure of his disease, on the 
20th of July, 1770, before he had completed his forty- 
fifth year. He was buried at Eichmond, in Surrey. 

JEREMIAH MEYER, E.A., was born at Tubingen, in Wir- 
temberg, in 1739. When fourteen years old he came to 
England with his father, and studied under Frederick 
Zincke, whose miniatures in enamel he far surpassed by 
studying the works of Sir Joshua Eeynolds. In 1761 he 
obtained the prize of 20 for the best drawing of a pro- 
file of the King, offered by the Society of Arts for the 
purpose of having a die engraved from it. Afterwards he 
was appointed miniature painter to the Queen, and enamel 
painter to King George III. He wrought both in enamel 
and water-colours, and especially excelled in the latter. 
He was a member of the old St. Martin's Lane Academy, 
until the Eoyal Academy was instituted. During several 
years he lived in Covent Garden, but latterly at Kew 
Green, where he died on January 20th, 1789. He was 



CH. IV.] CHAMBERLIN TOMS 97 

both esteemed as an artist, and highly regarded by a large 
circle of friends. One of these, Hayley the poet, ad- 
dressed some complimentary lines to him in his " Essay on 
Painting " (Ep. ii.), and wrote also an elegant epitaph after 
his decease. It was on his proposition that the " Pension 
Fund " of the Eoyal Academy was established. 

MASON CHAMBERLIN, E.A., had the reputation of being 
very successful in his likenesses. In early life he was 
employed as a merchant's clerk, and subsequently studied 
painting under Hayman. In 1764 he gained the second 
premium (when Mortimer won the first) given by the 
Society of Arts for historical painting. He resided, when 
first engaged as an artist, in Spitalfields, and subsequently 
in Bartlett's Buildings, Holborn. His portraits of Dr. 
Chandler, now in the possession of the Royal Society, and 
of Dr. William Hunter, in the Eoyal Academy, have been 
engraved, and are good specimens of his skill, although in 
all his works there was a great monotony in the tone of 
colouring. He died in January 1787. 

PETER TOMS, E.A., was the son of an engraver, and a 
pupil of Hudson, the portrait painter. He was chiefly 
employed while in London in painting draperies for Sir 
Joshua Eeynolds, Francis Cotes, and Gainsborough, in 
which he was especially skilful. Some of the draperies 
in Eeynolds' best whole-length pictures are by him. His 
charge for painting the draperies, hands, &c. of a whole- 
length portrait was twenty guineas ; for a three-quarter, 
three guineas. In the early exhibitions of the Eoyal 
Academy, he exhibited an allegorical picture, a portrait, 
and 'The Burdock, and other Wild Plants,' a specimen 
of a work intended to be published. He also held a 
situation in the Heralds' College as portcullis pursuivant ; 
but disliking the subordinate employment he was able 
to obtain as an artist in London, he went to Ireland to 
practice as a portrait painter in the suite of the Duke of 

VOL. I. II 



98 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [Cn. IV. 

Northumberland, on his appointment as Lord-Lieutenant ; 
but, unfortunately, not meeting with encouragement in 
that country, he returned to London, and after the death 
of Cotes, failing to obtain employment, he became melan- 
choly, drank deeply, and put an end to his unhappy life 
in the latter end of 1776. 

NATHANIEL HONE, E.A., was born in Dublin, about the 
year 1730. He was almost self-taught as an artist, and 
became a very respectable portrait painter both in oil and 
miniature, and practised enamelling also with some success. 
A few caricatures are also in existence to mark his ability 
in that line of art one engraved in mezzotinto por- 
trayed two monks carousing ; another, called the ' Magi- 
cian,' represented a pictorial conjuror displaying his 
cleverness in the art of deceiving the sight. It was 
known at the time that in the latter Hone intended 
to charge the President with plagiarism in the choice of 
his attitudes ; and being followed by another reflecting on 

/ 

Angelica Kauffmann, he thus gave great offence to the 
members of the Eoyal Academy, who regarded them as 
an unworthy display of malice and littleness of mind on 
the part of one of their own number. He also was angry 
at their rejection, and made in 1775 a separate exhibition 
of some sixty or seventy of his paintings. One of his 
best portraits was .a half-length of Sir John Fielding. 
Another of much merit was his own likeness, painted in 
1782. This picture was presented to the Eoyal Academy 
by Mr. Archer in 1808. In early life he married a lady 
with some property. When he first settled in London he 
resided in St. James's Place, afterwards in Pall Mall, and 
latterly in Eathbone Place, where he died on the 14th of 
August, 1784. 

FRANCIS MILNEE NEWTON, E.A., has already been men- 
tioned in connection with the efforts made to establish the 
Eoyal Academy, in which he was selected to fill the office 



CH. IV.] NEWTON DANCE 99 

of secretary, the duties of which he performed until 1788, 
when he resigned it. From 1780 until this period he 
occupied apartments allotted to him in Somerset House. 
On his retirement from his office the council of the Royal 
Academy presented him with an elegant silver cup of the 
value of eighty guineas. He was born in London about 
the year 1720, and was a pupil of M. Tuscher. He found 
considerable employment as a portrait painter, to which 
his artistic labours were confined. From early life he was 
fortunate in having friends who bequeathed him legacies, 
and soon after retiring from the secretaryship he became 
possessed of an estate at Barton House, near Taunton, to 
which he retired, and died there on the 14th of August, 
1794. 

NATHANIEL DAXCE, E.A., was the third son of George 
Dance, sen., who was the architect to the corporation of 
London, and erected the Mansion House, and the churches 
of St. Botolph, Aldgate, St. Luke, and St. Leonard, Shore- 
ditch. He was born in London in 1734, and having shown 
an early inclination for painting, he was placed with Francis 
Hayman, under whose instruction he continued until he 
went to Italy, where he pursued his studies for eight or 
nine years. On his return to England he distinguished 
himself as a painter of history and portraits, and also exhi- 
bited several excellent landscapes. He occupied the 
house of Zincke, the miniature painter (No. 13 Tavistock 
Row, Covent Garden), afterwards tenanted by Dr. Wolcott, 
the famous " Peter Pindar." His pictures of Garrick as 
* Richard HI.,' ' Timon of Athens,' and ' Virginia,' have 
been engraved ; and many of his portraits now pass for 
those of Sir J. Reynolds. In his profession he thus ac- 
quired celebrity; but, unfortunately for art, although 
luckily enough for himself, his fine figure and captivating 
address won for him the hand of the wealthy Yorkshire 
heiress, Mrs. Dummer, and by his marriage he acquired 
an income of 18,000 a year. On forming this alliance 

H 2 



100 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. TV. 

he resigned, on November 1st, 1790, his seat at the Eoyal 
Academy, and took the name of Holland in -addition to 
his own, became a member of Parliament, and was made 
a baronet in 1800. When thus retired from his profes- 
sion and elevated in social position, he did not altogether 
relinquish the arts, but continued as an amateur to exhibit 
landscapes which bore testimony to his taste and artistic 
skill. He died very suddenly at Winchester on the 15th 
of October, 1811. * 

Landscape and flower painters complete the number of 
painters (25), among the foundation members of the Royal 
Academy. These were George Barret, Charles Catton, 
Paul Sandby, John Eichards, Dominic Serres, Eichard 
Wilson, Thomas Gainsborough, Francis ZuccarelJi, John 
Baker, and Mary Moser. 

GEORGE BARRET, E. A., was born at Dublin in 1732, and 
after receiving his first education in the art of drawing at 
Mr. West's academy in that city, he commenced his career 
as a colourer of prints for a printseller named Silcock. 
Though recommended by his friend and patf on, Edmund 
Burke, to study pictures, nature was his prototype, and the 
beautiful scenery of the Dargles, Powerscourt Park, the seat 
of another of his patrons, Earl Powerscourt, afforded him 
the best objects upon which to exercise his talents as a 
landscape painter. While in Dublin he obtained the 
50 premium from the Dublin Society for the best land- 
scape. In 1761 he came to London, bringing with him 
two pictures he had painted for Lord Powerscourt, and 
which were so highly praised by the visitors to the exhi- 
bition in Spring Gardens in that year/ that he quickly at- 
tained a high rank as an artist, and remunerative employ- 
ment in the metropolis. In 1764 he gained the 50 
premium from the Society of Arts, being the first prize 
given by them for the best landscape. 

When he became a member of the Eoyal Academy he 



CH. IV.] BARRET CATTON 101 

still continued eminently successful, and had no difficulty 
in obtaining very high prices (as then estimated) for his 
pictures ; thus it is stated that he received 1500 for 
three pictures, painted by him for Lord Dalkeith, at a 
time when Wilson with difficulty earned a bare subsistence. 
So imprudent was he, however, that he became a bankrupt, 
but found a patron in Mr. Locke, who employed him to 
paint a room at his seat, Norbury Park, in Surrey, which 
is considered to be Barret's master-piece, and is still in 
good preservation. Towards the close of his life he was 
master-painter to Chelsea Hospital, an appointment which 
he procured through his friend Burke. He died at 
Westbourne Green, on the 29th of May, 1784, aged fifty- 
two, and was buried at Paddington. His landscapes are 
bold and natural in design, and thoroughly English in 
their manner ; but his colouring is somewhat peculiar and 
heavy. There is, however, a fresh and dewy brightness 
in his verdure, a characteristic of English scenery which 
he faithfully depicted ; he was . also very successful in 
his lake scenes, in the representation of the dispersion 
of the mists in such places, and in his aerial perspective, 
and flat distances. He painted much in water-colours, 
drew well in chalks, indian-ink, and black-lead, and 
executed a few etchings, which were published by Boydell 
in 1773. He made an ample income, but was extravagant, 
and left his family and descendants chiefly dependent on 
the aid largely afforded to them by the Royal Academy. 

CHARLES CATTON, R A., was born at Norwich in 1728, 
and is said to have been one of thirty-five children, which 
his father had by two wives. In his youth he was ap- 
prenticed to a coach-painter in London, named Maxfield. 
Subsequently he became a member of the St. Martin's 
Lane Academy, and there acquired a good knowledge of 
the human figure. In 1784 he served the office of 
Master of the Company of Painter-stainers, the fraternity 
of the English artists in olden time. Cornelius Jansen was 



102 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. IV. 

formerly a member of this ancient guild, and Inigo Jones 
and Vandyke were occasional guests at their annual 
feasts. Catton was the first herald painter who designed 
the supporters of coats of arms with any resemblance to 
nature. He was employed also in painting ornamental 
designs for coach-panels ; in reference to which Edwards 
observes that at the period when he began his career that 
employment might be ranked among the arts ; but that 
since the coachmakers have taken into their own hands 
the decoration of carriages, it has degenerated into 
frivolity and meanness, herald painters having become 
their journeymen. Catton was appointed his Majesty's 
coach-painter. The works exhibited by him at the Eoyal 
Academy were chiefly landscapes, but occasionally he 
painted composition pictures and animals. He retired 
from his profession some years before his death, which 
occurred on 28th of September, 1798. 

PAUL SANDBY, E.A., was born at Nottingham in 1725, 
and was a descendant of the family of Sandby of Babworth 
in that county. In 1746 he came to London, to com- 
mence his art-studies at the drawing-school at the Tower. 
Two years afterwards he was employed in drawing plans 
for the survey, under General Watson, of the Highlands, 
where he also made a number of sketches, which he 
etched and published in 1752. A series of drawings of 
Windsor and Eton afterwards obtained for him the 
patronage of Sir Joseph Banks ; and in company with 
him and the Hon. Charles Greville, he made a tour 
through Wales, and subsequently dedicated to these his 
fellow-travellers, forty-eight plates, engraved in aquatinta 
by himself, from the drawings he then made. He was 
the first English artist who adopted this method of en- 
graving ; and in some of his views of the ' Encampments 
in the Parks in 1780,' and of Windsor, Eton, and the 
' Sports of the Carnival at Eorne,' he carried it to great 
perfection. His etchings, both of landscapes and of 



CH. IV.] PAUL SANDBY 103 

figures, are also numerous and spirited. During the 
controversy among the artists, as to the formation of a 
public academy, in 1753-4, he severely ridiculed the 
opposition of Hogarth and others to the scheme, in a 
series in etchings, which strikingly exhibited his powers 
as a caricaturist, but which he gladly withdrew when the 
contest ceased. He contributed largely to the exhibitions 
of the Society of Artists, from 1760 to 1764, and was 
one of the directors of the Incorporated Society who 
withdrew from its government in the dissensions which 
preceded the foundation of the Eoyal Academy. In 1768 
he was appointed by the Master-General of the Ordnance 
chief drawing-master to the Eoyal Military Academy at 
Woolwich, and by George HL he was employed as a 
teacher of drawing to the royal princes. He had also 
other pupils, some eminent in rank, and others afterwards 
celebrated as professional artists. 

Paul Sandby painted in oil as well as in opaque colours 
with great success ; but his fame rests on his right to be 
considered the founder of the English school of water- 
colour painting, since he was the first to show the 
capability of that material to produce finished pictures, 
and to lead the way to the perfection in effect and colour 
to which that branch of art has lately attained. He was 
an enthusiastic student of nature ; and being thoroughly 
acquainted with the principles of linear perspective, he 
traversed the country, drawing, on their respective sites, 
views of castles, abbeys, cities, and rural scenes, with 
characteristic truth and pictorial taste. In his early 
drawings the process by which he produced the cheerful 
daylight effects apparent in his landscapes was to draw 
carefully with a reed-pen the outline of every part of the 
composition, without diminution of tint, distributing the 
shadows with indian-ink, and throwing a wash of colour 
over the' whole. These works were entitled u tinted 
drawings." In his second and improved style he subdued 
the rigid appearance of the outline, and carefully repeated 



104 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. IV. 

his tints till he produced in the foreground-objects a 
richer and deeper variety of hues. Although, from the 
materials being chiefly vegetable colours, and these few 
and badly-prepared, his water-colour drawings wanted 
the brilliancy of modern works, they lost nothing of 
artistic skill and beauty in consequence, while his body- 
colour drawings were executed with great mastery and 
effect. 

A large number of engravings were published by him 
in aquatinta, after his own drawings, and a volume of 
150 plates engraved from his drawings was issued in 
1778 as the " Virtuosi's Museum." After a long and 
active life, and with unimpaired faculties, he died in his 
84th year, at No. 4 St. George's Eow, Hyde Park, on the 
9th November, 1809, and was interred in the burial-ground 
of St. George's, Hanover Square, situated at the back of 
the garden of his house. His gentlemanly bearing, his 
kindness of heart, his love of wit and humour, his 
generous readiness to befriend his brother artists in neces- 
sity, and to promote the interests of those who were yet 
unknown to fame, rendered him an especial favourite 
among a large circle of friends and acquaintance. 

DOMINIC SERRES, E.A., was born at Aux, the capital of 
Gascony, in France, in 1722. Educated at the public 
school of that city, he was intended for a religieux, but hav- 
ing an aversion for such a secluded life, he ran away from 
home, and travelled on foot to Spain, where he engaged 
himself to serve on board a ship bound for South America, 
and afterwards became master of a trading vessel to the 
Havannah, where during the war of 1752 he was taken 
prisoner by a British frigate, and was thus brought to 
England and confined in the Marshalsea. Having in early 
years received some instruction in drawing, he applied 
himself on his release to marine painting, and was assisted 
in his studies by Mr. Brooking, the best artist in that 
style of the time, and soon acquired considerable renown 



Cn. IV.] SERRES RICHARDS 105 

as a painter of sea-pieces and landscapes. The gallant 
Lord Hawke and other naval commanders patronized 
him to paint their nautical exploits ; and one of his most 
important pictures was a view of Lord Howe's engage- 
ment with the French and Spanish fleets off Gibraltar in 
1782. Ten years previously he painted three pictures of 
the Naval Eeview at Portsmouth, and thus gained the ap- 
pointment of Marine Painter to the King. For several 
years after the establishment of the Eoyal Academy he 
exhibited a series of mementos of gallant deeds, which 
as works of art would not be much thought of now, but 
were popular in their day, and were engraved. In 1792 
he was appointed librarian to the Academy, on the re- 
signation of Wilton, the sculptor, and terminated a life of 
industry and honourable success on the 3rd of November, 
1792, at an advanced age. He lived in the house ad- 
joining that occupied by his friend, Paul Sandby, in St. 
George's Eow, Hyde Park, and was buried in the ceme- 
tery of Marylebone parish, in Paddington Street, Baker 
Street. His eldest son, J. T. Serres, followed the same 
branch of art as his father with tolerable success. 

JOHX EICHARDS, E.A., was a landscape painter, who 
chose for his subjects the old baronial halls of his native 
country, and the ruins of abbeys and other ancient build- 
ings. He was a constant exhibitor at the Eoyal Aca- 
demy ; and in 1788, on the resignation of Mr. Newton, 
he was appointed secretary, and held the appointment 
till his death, which took place in his apartments at the 
Academy, on the 18th December, 1810. He repaired 
the Cartoon of Leonard! da Vinci belonging to the Aca- 
demy, and made the catalogue of its art-treasures. He 
suffered greatly from impaired health during his latter 
years. He chiefly distinguished himself as a painter of 
theatrical scenery, and in that province of art displayed 
considerable merit, having held the leading place in that 
department at Coveut Garden Theatre for many years. 



10G HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [Cn. IV. 

Ei CHARD WILSOX, E, A., deservedly regarded as one of 
the great landscape painters of the English school, was 
born at Pinegas, in Montgomeryshire, in 1713. His father 
was a clergyman, and his mother was related to the late 
Lord Chancellor Camden. Having given signs of artistic 
taste, by his early attempts at drawing with a burnt stick 
upon the walls, young Eichard Wilson was placed by his 
relative, Sir George Wynne, with Thomas Wright, a 
portrait painter, who lived in Covent Garden, for instruc- 
tion in art. He thus became a portrait painter ; and in 
1749 was so far distinguished among his many contem- 
poraries in that branch of art, as to be employed by 
Bishop Hayter, of Norwich, at that time tutor to the 
Prince of Wales (afterwards George HI.) and the Duke 
of York, to paint the portraits of his Eoyal pupils. 
Very little is now known of his portraits ; but it is 
stated that they were bold and artistic, and that in 
effect and colouring he followed the style of Eembrandt." 
Some were executed in black and white chalk in a very 
masterly way. 

In 1749 he went to Italy with Mr. Locke, of Nbrbury, 
and in Venice he became acquainted with Zuccarelli, who 
urged him to practise landscape painting, from seeing a 
rough sketch he made of the scene from the window of 
the house, while waiting for his friend. This advice was 
strengthened when Wilson proceeded to Eome, by the 
proposal of Vernet, on seeing one of his landscapes, to 
exchange pictures with him, and by the French artist 
showing Wilson's landscape thus obtained to all the visi- 
tors at his studio, and praising the English author of it. 
Subsequently Mengs offered to paint his portrait (the 
best now extant of Wilson) for one of his landscapes ; 
and thus encouraged, he devoted himself altogether to 
the study of nature, transferring to his canvas the very 
air and tint of the Italian scenes he copied. Six years 
were spent abroad ; and in 1755 he came back to London 
to seek his fortunes among his own countrymen. 



CH. IV.] RICHARD WILSON 107 

He took up his abode on the north side of Covent 
Garden, at that time and long previously, a favourite 
locality with artists. He finished several pictures, and 
obtained a fair prospect of patronage. Thomas Sandby, 
Deputy-Eanger of Windsor Park, obtained from the 
Eanger, William, Duke of Cumberland, a commission for 
Wilson to paint the ' Niobe ' for his Eoyal Highness, 
which was afterwards engraved by Woollett. Subse- 
quently he painted a half-length picture of Zion House 
for the King's inspection ; and it is stated that when 
Lord Bute, by whom it was to be presented, remarked 
that sixty guineas, the price named, was too much, 
Wilson angrily replied, " If the King 'cannot afford to 
pay so large a sum at once, I will take it by instal- 
ments," and thus offended his lordship, and excluded 
himself from Court employment. His irritability of 
temper, unfortunately, was never under control, and led 
to much of the distress and neglect which saddened many 
subsequent years of this talented artist's life. There 
seems to have been an antipathy approaching to dislike 
between him and Eeynolds the one rough in manner, 
and avoiding the society of his brother artists, the other 
courtly and refined, and fond of social intercourse : and Q 
it is reported that when Eeynolds once proposed in- ' 
advertently in Wilson's presence, the health of Gains- ? ' 
borough, as the best landscape painter, poor Wilson 
angrily added, as a retort " and the best portrait painter ' 
too!"' 

While a few discriminating connoisseurs purchased 
some of his best pictures, the larger number of them 
were bought for a few pounds apiece by a dealer in St. 
James's, who at last declined to take any more, as he had 
sold none of those he had bought from him during several 
years. Indeed, at a later period, Paul Sandby offered 
him an advance of price on a large number of his 
sketches, and led him to suppose that lie could find pur- 
chasers for them ; but although he paid him for them, as 



108 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. IV. 

they were executed, he could not dispose of them, and 
they remained in his possession long after Wilson's death, 
and were sold many years afterwards by his son, T. P. 
Sandby, at a time when Wilson's drawings were be- 
ginning to be estimated as they deserved. Sir W. Beechey 
was another of his friends ; but his morose disposition 
hindered many from having the opportunity to show him 
kindness. Yet he greatly needed it ; for at one time he 
was unable to execute a commission he received from 
want of sufficient money to purchase the canvas and 
colours with which to paint ; and his life gradually be- 
came more dreary and cheerless. He shifted his abode 
from time to time, as he found his means contract by the 
decline of patronage. Thus from Covent Garden Piazza 
he removed to Charlotte Street, Fitzroy Square ; thence 
to Great Queen Street, Lincoln's Inn Fields ; then to 
Foley Place, and lastly, to a wretched lodging in Tot- 
tenham Street, Tottenham Court Eoad. On the death of 
Hayman in 1770, he solicited the appointment held by 
him of librarian to the Eoyal Academy an office of 
small emolument, but which happily rescued him from 
utter starvation. 

When his health was visibly declining, and his spirits 
were broken by continued disappointment, Wilson un- 
expectedly became possessed by the death of his brother 
of a small estate in Wales, near the village of Llanberis, 
then called Colomondie, but now known as Loggerheads, 
from the sign of that name which Wilson painted for the 
village ale-house. There he spent his last days in ease 
and comfort, enjoying the lovely scenery by which he 
was surrounded, but unable to renew the health and 
vigour of bygone days. A sudden illness which over- 
took him in one of his walks terminated fatally in May, 
1782, when he was in his 69th year. He was buried in 
the parish church of St. Mary at Mold, where an altar 
tombstone covers his grave. Since his death his genius 
has been universally acknowledged, and his works held 



CH. IV.] WILSON GAINSBOROUGH 109 

in high, repute ; but the taste for classic landscape and 
for the poetical conceptions of nature which his pictures 
displayed was not created in his own day, although in 
choice of subject, felicity in the distribution of light and 
shade, and freshness and harmony of tints, he was scarcely 
excelled by any of his more fortunate contemporaries. 
Many of his best works he repeated several times ; and a 
large number of his pictures, seven of which are in the 
National Collections, have been engraved. 

Of THOMAS GAINSBOROUGH, E.A., it was said by Sir 
Joshua Eeynolds, " That if ever this nation should pro- 
duce genius sufficient to acquire for us the honourable 
distinction of an English School, the name of Gainsborough 
will be transmitted to posterity as one of the very first 
of that rising name." Posterity has fulfilled this predic- 
tion ; and he is justly regarded as one of the best artists 
in the English school of landscape painting. He was born 
in 1727 at Sudbury, in Suffolk. His father was a clothier, 
of slender means, and was able to afford his son but 
little school education ; he was also self-taught as an 
artist, for in the woods and lanes of Suffolk he acquired 
that love and knowledge of the beauties of quiet nature 
for which his early pictures especially are distinguished. 
He would pass his mornings in solitude when a mere boy, 
making a sketch of an old tree, a marshy brook, a few cattle, 
a shepherd and his flock, or any other accidental object that 
presented itself. From delineation he proceeded to colour- 
ing ; and before he was twelve years old he had painted 
several landscapes. In his thirteenth year he was sent 
to London, and placed successively under Gravelot, the 
engraver, and Frank Hayman, the painter, under whose 
instructions he remained four years. He then returned 
to his father's house at Sudbury ; and while sketching in 
his native woods, he met a young lady, Miss Margaret Burr, 
to whom after a short courtship, he was married when 
in his nineteenth year. Besides being a loving wife, this 



110 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. IV. 

lady made him comparatively independent, having a for- 
tune of her own of 200 a year. On his marriage he 
went to Ipswich, where he resided tih 1 1758, when he re- 
moved to the metropolis of fashion, Bath. During his 
stay at Ipswich he made the acquaintance of Philip 
Thicknesse, the governor of Landguard Fort, who osten- 
tatiously patronised the young artist ; but in after years 
the friendship was broken by the painter, who found his 
independence of action destroyed by his patron's harass- 
ing protection. 

Having practised portrait painting with increasing suc- 
cess while in Bath, in 1774 he returned to London, and 
took the house (now forming part of the War Office) in 
Pall Mall, built for the Duke of Schomberg. . Being com- 
missioned to paint a conversation or family piece of the 
King and Queen, and the three princesses, he soon 
acquired further patronage ; and from the excellent like- 
nesses he produced he obtained extensive practice and 
proportionate emolument. His portraits were chiefly 
valued for their striking resemblance to the originals : 
some of them were painted in a rough careless manner, 
in a style of hatching and scumbling entirely his own : 
upon others he bestowed great care and finish ; and by 
the permanent splendour of his colours, the ease and 
grace of the positions, and the natural and living air he 
gave to his portraits, he formed a formidable rival even 
to the talented President. Latterly he obtained forty 
guineas for a hah , and a hundred for a whole-length 
portrait. 

His fame, however, chiefly rests on his landscapes. He 
painted them with a faithful adherence to nature : his trees, 
foregrounds and figures have much force and spirit ; and 
there is something of the brilliancy of Claude and the 
simplicity of Euysdael in his romantic scenes. There is a 
great difference between his early and later works : in the 
former every feature is copied from nature in its finest 
and most delicate lineaments, yet without stiffness or for- 



CH. IV.] THOMAS GAINSBOKOUGH 111 

mality ; in his later works, striking effect, great breadth, 
and judicious distribution of light and shade, produce a 
grand and even solemn impression upon the beholder, 
especially when viewed (as they were painted) at a dis- 
tance from the picture. In private life Gainsborough 
was eminent for possessing all the virtues of a generous 
and kindly nature. If he selected for the exercise of his 
pencil an infant from a cottage, all the tenants of the 
humble roof generally shared in the profits of the pic- 
ture, and some of them found in his home a permanent 
abode. His liberality was not confined to this alone ; 
needy relatives and unfortunate friends were further 
claimants on a heart that could not deny aid to any : and 
to this generosity, rather than to any extravagance, it must 
be attributed that the amount of affluence was not left to 
his family which so much merit might promise, and such 
real worth deserve. 

Many anecdotes are told tending to show that Gains- 
borough was a great enthusiast both in painting and 
music. He appears to have " painted portraits for money, 
and landscapes because he loved them : but he was a 
musician because he could not help it." John T. Smith 
relates that he one day found Gainsborough listening 
in speechless admiration, with tears on his cheeks, to the 
playing of a first-rate violinist, Colonel Hamilton. Sud- 
denly the painter called out " Go on, and I will give 
you the picture of c The Boy and the Stile,' which you 
have so often wished to purchase of me." And he was 
as good as his word ; for the Colonel took away the pic- 
ture with him in a coach. 

Although not fond of literature, lie was intimate with 
Johnson and Burke, and had an especial affection for 
Kichard B. Sheridan, from whom one day after dinner, 
when apparently in good health but in low spirits, he 
obtained a promise that he would be the " one worthy 
man " he desired to attend his funeral. A year after- 
wards, when listening to the impeachment of Warren 



112 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. IV. 

Hastings, with his back to an open window, in West- 
minster Hall, he felt a cold touch his neck. This proved 
to be a wen, which grew internally, and becoming can- 
cerous, eventually caused his death. Years before a cool- 
ness had arisen between him and Eeynolds ; and since 
1784 he refused to exhibit at the Eoyal Academy be- 
cause a whole-length portrait he sent was not hung on 
the line. Now, in the prospect of death, he sent for the 
President to make peace with him, and expired saying 
"We are ah 1 going to heaven, and Vandyke is of the 
company." His death took place on the 2nd of August, 
1788, in his 61st year. Sheridan and Eeynolds attended 
him to his grave in Kew churchyard, where at his request, 
he was buried near his friend Kirby, with his name only, 
without any other inscription, cut on his gravestone. In 
the same year Eeynolds, in his discourse to the students, 
. \frvtA. gave a very accurate criticism upon the works of Gains- 
borough, several of which are in the National Collections. 

FEANCESCO ZUCCAEELLI, E.A., was born at Pitighano, near 
Florence, in 1702. He was first a scholar of Paolo Anesi, 
but afterwards studied under G. M. Morahdi and P. Nelli. 
For some time he applied himself to historic painting ; but 
his inclination led him rather to choose landscapes, with 
small figures, his tasteful execution of which was greatly 
admired, not only in England, but throughout Europe, 
wherever his works were known. He took up his resi- 
dence at Venice ; but finding that he had established a 
good reputation in this country, by the engravings after 
his works made by Smith, he came to London in October 
1752, and continued to reside here tih 1 1773, when he re- 
turned to Florence. In the mean time he seemed to reign 
over the public taste in England ; and Wilson was fre- 
quently advised to imitate his style, if he hoped to prosper. 
Many of his pictures were engraved by Vivares, and in 
early life he himself made etchings after Andrea del Sarto 
and others. In 1759 he painted a set of designs for 



QH. IV.] ZUCCARELLI BAKER MOSER 113 

tapestries for the Earl of Egremont's town mansion in 
Piccadilly. There is much that is pleasing and graceful 
about his compositions, but they are feeble and artificial, 
cold and classical, and are a striking contrast to the living 
portraitures of the wild luxuriance of nature by Gains- 
borough. After his return to Italy in 1773, he unfor- 
tunately vested the produce of his life's labours in the 
security of one of the monasteries of Florence, which 
was shortly afterwards suppressed by the Emperor of 
Austria, Joseph II. In his old age he was thus reduced 
to indigence, and obliged to resume his pencil. He died 
at Florence in 1789. 

JOHN BAKER, R.A., was born in 1736, and was a fellow- 
pupil of Catton in learning to decorate coaches with his- 
torical and fancy subjects, painted on the panels. In the 
beginning of his career he was much employed in painting 
armorial bearings, and ornamental designs for carriages, 
chiefly wreaths of flowers, before it became the peculiar 
province of herald-painters. He subsequently chose flower- 
painting as his pursuit, and a very creditable specimen of 
his abilities in that branch of art is now in the Council- 
chamber of the Royal Academy. He died in 1771. 

MARY MOSER, R.A., was the daughter of the Keeper 
of the Royal Academy, G. M. Moser, and was a skilful 
flower-painter, whose pictures were at one time in great 
request. She is the only lady, besides Angelica Kauffman, 
who has ever been a member of the Royal Academy. In 
1758 and 1759 she obtained premiums of five guineas 
each from the Society of Arts for her drawings. Queen 
Charlotte gave her a commission to decorate an entire 
room with flowers at Frogmore, which was afterwards 
called Miss Moser's room, and for painting which she 
received 900. After several years' practice in her pro- 
fession, during which she was thought to have formed an 
unrequited passion for Fuseli, she married Captain Hugh 

VOL. I. I 



114 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [Cn. IV. 

Lloyd, and afterwards only practised art as an amateur. 
She survived her husband several years, and died, at an 
advanced age, on the 2nd of May, 1819, at 21 Upper 
Thornhaugh Street, Tottenham Court Eoad, and was 
buried at Kensington, in the grave of her husband. An 
amusing anecdote is told relating to her, connected with 
the re-election of West as President, in 1803. One voice 
was given in favour of Mrs. Lloyd for the presidential 
chair, which was attributed to Fuseli, who, when taxed 
with it, in his usual sarcastic vein, replied, " Well, suppose 
I did ; is she not eligible ? and is not one old woman as 
good as another?" She was on friendly terms with 
Nollekens, West, and Cosway, and their wives ; and 
Queen Charlotte and the Princess Elizabeth continued for 
many years to pay kindly visits to one who owed so much 
to their patronage. 

Twenty-five painters, such as those whose course we 
have thus briefly sketched, were sufficient, despite the defi- 
ciencies of some among them, to produce works attractive 
enough to draw numerous visitors to the annual exhibition 
of the Eoyal Academy ; and some few of them, at least, 
have succeeded in establishing for English art the claim to 
a distinctive school, and have rendered their own names 
illustrious in all future time by their originality and power. 

The ARCHITECTS who were foundation-members of the 
Academy next claim our attention. As contributors to 
the exhibition, these artists could do little ; for their 
drawings would only interest the profession, except in rare 
cases, and the taste for architecture a hundred years ago 
was at its lowest ebb in England. But the fruits of their 
genius exist among us, and, notwithstanding the progress 
which has since been made in this branch of art, still 
claim for their originators our respect and admiration. 
The architects were THOMAS SANDBY, the first Professor 
of Architecture, of whom we have already spoken ; Sir 
William Chambers ; John Gwynn ; and George Dance. 



CH. IV.] SIR WILLIAM CHAMBERS 115 

SIR WILLIAM CHAMBERS, E.A., was descended from a 
Scottish family of the name of Chalmers, stated to have 
been barons of Tartas, in France, and was born at Stock- 
holm, in 1726, where his grandfather had established him- 
self as a merchant, in order to prosecute certain claims on 
the government of that country. At two years of age he 
was brought to England, and subsequently placed at 
school at Ripon in Yorkshire. At the age of sixteen he 
was appointed supercargo to a ship belonging to the 
Swedish East India Company, on a voyage to China, 
where he made a series of sketches of the picturesque 
buildings and gardens of Canton, which were published 
on his return home. At the early age of eighteen, or 
shortly afterwards, he settled in London, as an architect 
and draughtsman, and soon made for himself a respectable 
position in his new profession. He acquired the neces- 
sary preliminary instruction in architectural drawing, 
and travelled in Italy, examining and studying with un- 
wearied application the works of Michael Angelo, and of 
Palladio, Vignola, and other Italian architects, and subse- 
quently went to Paris, where he studied under Clerisseau, 
and acquired a freedom of pencil, in which he greatly 
excelled. 

To his skill as a draughtsman was added most pleasing 
conversation and manners, which led to his being ap- 
pointed, by the patronage of Lord Bute, tutor in architec- 
ture to the young Prince of Wales (afterwards George III.) ; 
and on the accession of that monarch to the throne, he 
was appointed Comptroller of the Office of Woods, and 
Surveyor-General to the King, and was shortly afterwards 
employed to lay out the Royal Gardens at Kew. In ful- 
filling this task he displayed that predilection for the 
Chinese style, both of gardening and architecture, of which 
he had already given intimation in a work entitled "Designs 
for Chinese Buildings," published in 1759. The altera- 1ki^ t 
tions at Kew were finished in 1765, and a set of prints, 
with descriptions of the works, was published in folio. / ; 

12 



11(5 



HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [Cn. IV. 



The " Celestial " tastes thus exhibited were severely 
satirised; but in 1772 he issued another vindication of 
Chinese designs and fashions (the taste for which was 
steadily increasing), entitled " A Dissertation on Oriental 
Gardening." This called forth from Horace Walpole and 
the poet Mason (whose " English Garden " it was thought 
to be intended to answer) a satirical poem, entitled " An 
heroic Epistle to Sir William Chambers, Knight, Comp- 
troller-General of his Majesty's Works, and Author of a 
late 4 Dissertation on Oriental Gardening,' enriched with 
explanatory notes, chiefly extracted from that elaborate 
performance." The controversy was continued for some 
time ; nevertheless, Chambers retained the Eoyal favour, 
and accumulated honours, being allowed to assume the 
title of knighthood in England, having been made, in 
1771, a knight of the Swedish order of the Polish Star. 

In 1775 he was appointed to superintend the rebuilding 
of Somerset House, which was his greatest and his last 
work. 1 The street front of this building is in all respects 
better adapted to a great city than the Greek models 
which are so often adopted. The eastern wing was left 
unfinished by him, and has since been built by Smirke ; 
and additions have also been made on the western side, 
in harmony with the rest of the building, by Mr. Penne- 
thorne. The general proportions of the whole are good, 
and some of the details are of great elegance, especially 
the entrance-archway from the Strand. The terrace 
elevation towards the Thames was made (like the Adelphi 
Terrace of the Brothers Adam) in anticipation of the 
long-projected embankment of the river, and is one of 



1 " Peter Pindar " seems to have 
taken a special aversion to Sir W. 
Chambers, as several of his " Odes " 
refer to him. Here are two verses 
from " Subjects for Painters :" 

" Knight of the Polar Star, or Bear, don't start, 
And like some long^eared creatures bray, ' what 
art?' 



Sir William, shut your ell-wide mouth of 

terror, 

I come not here, believe me, to complain 
Of such as dared employ the building brain, 
And criticise an economic error. 

1 1 come not here to call thee knave or fool, 
And bid thee seek again Palladio's school ; 
Or copy Heaven, who formed thy head so thick 
To give stability to stone and brick : 
No 'twould be cruel now to make a rout, 
The very stones already have cried out." 



CH. IV.] SIR WILLIAM CHAMBERS 117 

the finest parades in London. Next to Somerset House, 
among Chambers' most successful works, are the mansions 
he built for the Marquis of Abercorn at Duddingstone, 
near Edinburgh ; Milton Abbey, in Dorsetshire, designed 
in the Gothic style, for Lord Dorchester ; and an Italian 
villa, erected at Koehampton for the Earl of Besborough. 
In all his plans he displayed considerable ingenuity, and 
there was generally a certain degree of grandeur in his 
designs. His staircases, in particular, are much admired ; 
and we are indebted to him for many improvements in 
the interior decorations of our buildings. 

A large proportion of his fame, however, rests on a 
work he published in 1791, entitled " A Treatise on Civil 
Architecture," of which two subsequent editions one by 
Joseph Gwilt, F.S.A., the other by an anonymous editor 
in 1824 have been issued. He devoted much thought 
and research to this task, and brought together in it the 
results of his long experience and comprehensive know- 
ledge of the subject, thus rendering his book the first 
regular and detailed treatise on the art of design, and 
laying down the fixed rules by which excellence in archi- 
tecture could be judged. By this work lie closed a pro- 
fessional career in which he had gained an honourable 
reputation at home and abroad, and had amassed a large 
fortune. In early life he married the beautiful daughter 
of Wilton the sculptor (whose portrait was one of Cotes' 
best works) ; and to his last days his wife was his constant 
companion, and his family his chief delight. Beyond the 
circle of home he enjoyed the friendship of Johnson, 
Goldsmith, Dr. Burney, and Garrick, among the geniuses 
of his day, and presided over a little monthly gathering, 
called the "Architects' Club," at the Thatched House 
Tavern. He died on the 8th of March, 1796, after a 
long illness from an asthmatical complaint, in his 71st 
year, and was buried in Westminster Abbey. His por- 
trait, by Sir Joshua Ecynolds (one of the finest works of 
the pointer), is in the possession of the Koyal Academy. 



118 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. IV. 

JOHN GWYNN, K*A., was the author of a work entitled 
"London and Westminster Improved," published in 1766 
(for which Johnson wrote the dedication), in which he 
suggested several architectural projects which have since 
given to the book something of a prophetical character ; 
for instance, he advised the rebuilding of London Bridge, 
the erection of a new one across the Thames near Somerset 
House, the removal of the markets from Smithfield and the 
Fleet, and mapped out the principal new thoroughfares and 
improvements which have since been planned or effected. 
He was besides the architect of several mansions and 
bridges, and his design for a bridge to be erected at Black- 
friars (in the competition for which Mylne was finally suc- 
cessful), led to his friend, Dr. Johnson, writing several 
articles in the " Gazetteer " in defence of the semicircular 
arches in Gwynn's design, in opposition to the elliptical 
adopted by Mylne. The well-known Magdalen Bridge 
at Oxford, and the English Bridge at Shrewsbury, were 
also designed by him. He died in 1786. 

GEOKGE DANCE, the elder brother of Nathaniel Dance, 
of whom we have already spoken, was born in 1740. By 
the circumstances of his position, as a son of the architect 
to the corporation of London, he received an education 
and opportunities of study which peculiarly fitted him to 
follow successfully the profession of his father, whom he 
succeeded in 1768 in his office of city surveyor. The 
first architectural work by which he signalised himself 
was in the design for Newgate, which was begun by him 
in 1770. This structure has been highly extolled, and has 
been described as " one of the few truly monumental pieces 
of architecture in the metropolis." It has been admired 
especially for its striking degree of character its severity 
as a prison not being obtained by the erection of a dismal 
mass devoid of all aesthetic charm, but secured by blend- 
ing into one expressive whole several separate and boldly 
distinct parts, each affording effective relief of light and 



CH. IV.] GEORGE DANCE 119 

shade. The Giltspur Street Compter, designed by him, 
possessed similar characteristics ; and he added further to 
his fame as an architect by the erection of St. Luke's 
Hospital. The front of Guildhall, erected in 1789, has, 
however, been severely criticised, and is in very question- 
able taste. Not so, however, the Boydell Shakspeare 
Gallery in Pall Mall (now the British Institution), and the 
Theatre at Bath, both designed by him. In 1799 he was 
presented with a silver cup, valued at fifty guineas, by the 
Eoyal Academy, for having, as one of the auditors, in 
conjunction with William Tyler, carefully investigated their 
accounts up to that date. To mark their appreciation of 
his services in preparing the report and suggestions as to 
the funds, presented by him and Farington in 1809, the 
Academicians again presented him with a silver cup. 

On the death of Thomas Sandby in 1798, George 
Dance was elected to succeed him as professor of archi- 
tecture ; but he does not appear to have delivered any 
lectures on the art, and he resigned the office in 1805. 
In 1811-14, two folio volumes of profile portraits were 
published, drawn by George Dance, and engraved by 
William Daniell in imitation of the original drawings. 
In this taste for portraiture, he followed his brother's 
branch of art rather than his own ; but these sketches, 
although characteristic likenesses, have something of the 
appearance of caricatures. In 1816 he resigned his 
appointment as city surveyor in favour of his pupil, 
William Montague, and died in his house in Gower Street 
on the 14th of January, 1825, in his 84th year. He was 
buried at St. Paul's, near to the last earthly resting place 
of Sir Christopher Wren, and John Rennie, the engineer. 

The SCULPTORS among the foundation members of the 
Royal Academy, were William Tyler, Joseph Wilton, 
George Michael Moser, Richard Yeo, and Agostino 
Carlini. There was but little taste or patronage for their 
works at that period, and the opportunities for study to 



120 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [Cn. IV. 

enable sculptors to attain to perfection in their art were 
most scanty. This may account for the small display 
which such works made in the early exhibitions of the 
Royal Academy. There are still deficiencies in these 
respects, and still need for progress and improvement, 
both of which we trust will shortly be accomplished. 

WILLIAM TYLER, E.A., is described as an architect, and 
in 1786 he designed the Freemasons' Tavern in Great 
Queen Street, a separate building from Freemasons' Hall, 
which was erected ten years before by Thomas Sandby. 
But in the early exhibitions of the Royal Academy, he 
annually appears to have displayed specimens of his skill 
as a sculptor of busts and basso-relievos. He took an 
active interest in the management of the affairs of the 
Royal Academy, and it was he who presented, in conjunc- 
tion with George Dance, the report on the treasurer's 
account in 1799, and received a present of a silver cup, 
valued at fifty guineas, from the Academicians in recogni- 
tion of his services. He died in 1801. 

JOSEPH WILTON, R.A., attained to considerable eminence 
in his profession, and is the first English sculptor who en- 
joyed the advantage of a regular course of academic study. 
His father was a manufacturer of plastic ornaments for 
ceilings, &c. and employed a large number of persons in 
his workshops. Joseph was born on the 16th of July, 1722, 
and was first taught in his profession by Laurent Delvaux, 
at Neville, in Brabant. In 1744 he proceeded to Paris, 
where he gained the silver medal awarded by the Academy 
for working in marble. Three years afterwards he went 
to Rome, and in 1750 was presented by the Roman 
Academy with the jubilee gold medal given by Pope 
Benedict XIV. While in Italy he made copies, on a re- 
duced scale, of many famous antique gems, and sold them 
among his travelling countrymen, and thus obtained the 
patronage of Mr. Locke, of Norbury Park, a gentleman 



CH. IV.] JOSEPH WILTON 121 

of great taste and liberality. After eight years spent in 
Italy, he came back to London in company with Chambers 
and Cipriani, and with the latter was chosen as a director 
of the Duke of Eichmond's sculpture gallery in Spring 
Gardens, to which we have already referred. 1 He was 
thus employed till 1770. He had been previously ap- 
pointed state-coach carver to the King, and made the 
model for the coronation coach for George HI. 

On the death of his father he became comparatively 
independent, and took up a more decided course as a 
sculptor. The architects of his day being generally com- 
missioned to carry out the sculptured decorations and 
details of the buildings they designed, the execution of 
monuments, statues, &c., was the only work left for the 
professional sculptor. Wilton's first public monument 
was that erected to General Wolfe, the conqueror of 
Quebec, in Westminster Abbey, which, though too much 
crowded in design, is effective in some of its parts. The 
same fault is apparent in his subsequent monuments to 
Admiral Holmes, the Earl and Countess of Montrath, 
Pulteney Earl of Bath, and Dr. Stephen Hales, the 
divine and botanist. All these works he finished with 
great softness, and worked the marble till it displayed a 
shining surface, in his anxiety to preserve his figures from 
stain and dust. In his busts of Bacon, Cromwell, 
Newton, Swift, Chatham, and Chesterfield, his faults are 
less apparent, and his skill in carving marble with a fleshy 
softness of surface, is seen to great advantage. 

Principally by such works as these he amassed a large 
fortune, and was enabled to live in a style of luxury pro- 
portioned to his means. He occupied a large house, and 
assembled goodly company at his table Lord Charle- 
mont and Mr. Locke among the aristocracy ; Sir Joshua 
Reynolds, Sir William Chambers, Bartolozzi, Cipriani, and 
Richard Wilson, among the Royal Academicians ; and 

1 See ante, p. 31. 



122 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. IV. 

Dr. Johnson and Baretti among the men of letters, were his 
frequent guests. When age crept upon him he retired 
from his profession, sold off his materials by auction, and 
accepted the office of Keeper of the Eoyal Academy in 
1790, retaining it till his death, which took place on 
the 25th of November, 1803. By his gentlemanly 
manners and his genial hospitality, he retained to the end 
his popularity among his brethren in the profession and 
the patrons of art. A bust of him, by Eoubilliac, was 
given by his daughter (Lady Chambers) to the Eoyal 
Academy. 

GEORGE MICHAEL MOSER, E.A., was a gold chaser and 
enameller, and was born at Scaffhausen, in Switzerland, in 
1704. When still young, he came to London', and found 
employment in chasing brass ornaments for cabinet-work, 
otherwise "buhl," and in enamel painting for watch- 
cases. For the watch of George III. he executed suc- 
cessful enamels of the Prince of Wales and the Bishop of 
Osnaburg, and received " a hat full of guineas " as his re- 
ward. Subsequently he pursued gold chasing and enamel 
painting generally. He was manager and treasurer of the 
private academy for artists in St. Martin's Lane ; and on 
the foundation of the Eoyal Academy, he was elected to 
fill the office of Keeper, for the duties of which he was 
eminently qualified by his knowledge of the construction 
of the human figure, his duties consisting principally in 
superintending and instructing the students in drawing 
and modelling from the antique. He designed the Great 
Seal of England for King George HI., and was an ex- 
cellent medallist. He died at his apartments in Somerset 
House, on the 23rd January, 1783, and was buried on 
the 30th at St. Paul's, Covent Garden, attended to the 
grave by the Eoyal Academicians and by the students of 
the Academy, by whom he was greatly beloved. He had 
previously resided with his daughter, Mary Moser, at his 
house in Craven Buildings, Drury Lane. An eulogium 



CH. IV.] YEO CARLINI 123 

upon him, by Sir Joshua Keynolds, appeared in one of 
the papers of the day, on the 24th January, 1783, in 
which he is described as the first gold-chaser in the 
kingdom, and as having a universal knowledge of all 
branches of painting and sculpture, to which is added, 
that " he may truly be said to be in every sense the father 
of the present race of artists." 

EICHARD YEO, K.A., was a sculptor of medallions, and 
was chief engraver to his Majesty's Mint. Little can 
now be ascertained of his history beyond these facts, and 
that he died on the 3rd December, 1779. 






AGOSTINO CARLIXI, E.A., was a native of Geneva, who 
came in early life to reside in England, and was appointed 
Keeper of the Eoyal Academy in succession to Moser in 
1783. As a sculptor, he excelled particularly in his 
draperies, which were always executed with great skill 
and grace. Among his best works was an equestrian 
statue of the King (a model of which is still preserved 
by the Eoyal Academy) and a statue of Dr. Ward, in 
marble, which is the property of the Society of Arts. 
He died in Carlisle Street, Soho, on the 16th August, 
1790. 

With such an assemblage of artists, of various de- 
grees of excellence, and pursuing different branches of 
art, the Eoyal Academy commenced its career, many 
of the members being soon destined to leave all other 
competitors in the race for distinction in the background, 
and to gather for themselves the laurels of a world-wide 
fame. 




Sir Joshua Reynolds, from the portrait by himself, in possession of the Royal Academy 



CHAPTEE V. 

THE ROYAL ACADEMY UNDER THE PRESIDENCY OF SIR 
JOSHUA REYNOLDS, 17681792. 

Opening of the Royal Academy Address of the President The Schools 
Election of Associate Engravers The Annual Exhibitions Appropriation 
of its Funds Lectures Appointment of Associates, a Librarian and 
Honorary Members The early Home of the Academy TJie Annual 
Dinner Proposal made by the Academicians to Decorate St. Paul's 
The Society of Arts The Pension Fund established The Pall-Mail 
Exhibitions until 1779 The removal to Somerset House, 1780 Discon- 
tinuance of Aid from the Privy Purse Complaints as to Exclusion of 
Pictures Peter Pindar and other Satirists attack the Academy BoydelVs 
Shahspeare Gallery Interned Troubles Reynolds' s Resignation of the 
Office of President, and Re-acceptance of it His last Discourse Changes 
in the Academy by Death of Original, and Election of New Members 
Succession of Officers The Exhibitions from 1781 to 1791. 

WITHIN a month of the foundation of the Eoyal 
Academy arrangements were made for opening the 
schools for the instruction of students, consisting of an 



On. V.] 



OPENING OF THE ACADEMY 



125 



antique academy and a school for the living model, the 
former presided over by the keeper, the latter by a suc- 
cession of nine visitors. They were situated at that time 




View of ilir i.ltl Unyftl Ariulrniy 111 Pall Mail 



in some large chambers built for an auctioneer in Pall 
Mall, " opposite Market Lane," and adjacent to Old Carlton 
House, the site being a little to the eastward of that now 



120 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. V. 

occupied by the United Service Club. Between it and 
the royal residence the trees were visible from the road. 

It was on the occasion of this first public assembly (the 
2nd of January, 1769), that Sir Joshua Eeynolds on 
whom the King had graciously conferred the honour of 
knighthood as President of the Eoyal Academy deli- 
vered the first of those fifteen discourses which have ever 
since that time been held in high repute as sources of 
much valuable instruction to students in the principles of 
art. Naturally enough the President's first thoughts were 
of the institution which he was then to inaugurate, for he 
commenced by saying that "An academy in which the 
polite arts may be regularly cultivated is at last opened 
among us by Koyal munificence. This must appear an 
event in the highest degree interesting, not only to the 
artist, but to the whole nation. . . . We are happy 
in having a prince who has conceived the design of such 
an institution according to its true dignity, and who pro- 
motes the arts as the head of a great, a learned, a polite, 
and a commercial nation. . . . The numberless and 
ineffectual consultations which I have had with many in 
this assembly to form plans and concert schemes for an 
academy afford a sufficient proof of the impossibility of 
succeeding but by the influence of Majesty. But there 
have, perhaps, been times when even the influence of 
Majesty would have been ineffectual ; and it is pleasing to 
reflect that we are thus embodied, when every circum- 
stance seems to concur from which honour and prosperity 
can possibly arise. There are at this time a greater num- 
ber of excellent artists than were ever known before at 
one period in this nation ; there is a general desire among 
our nobility to be distinguished as lovers and judges of 
the arts ; there is a greater superfluity of wealth among 
the people to reward the professors; and, above all, we 
are patronised by a monarch who, knowing the value of 
science and of elegance, thinks every art worthy of his 
notice that tends to soften and humanise the mind. After 



CH. V.] REYNOLDS'S FIRST ADDRESS 127 

so much has been done by his Majesty, it will be wholly 
our fault if our progress is not in some degree correspon- 
dent to the wisdom and generosity of the institution; let 
us show our gratitude in our diligence that, though our 
merit may not answer his expectations, yet at least our 
industry may deserve his protection. But, whatever may 
be our proportion of success, of this we may be sure, that 
the present institution will at least contribute to advance 
our knowledge of the arts, and bring us nearer to that 
ideal excellence which it is the lot of genius always to 
contemplate and never to attain." As to the purposes to 
be attained by the schools then opened, he stated that 
" The principal advantage of an academy is that, besides 
furnishing able men to direct the student, it will be a re- 
pository for the great examples of the art. These are the 
materials on which genius is to work, and without which 
the strongest intellect may be fruitlessly or deviously 
employed. By studying these authentic models, that idea 
of excellence, which is the result of the accumulated ex- 
perience of past ages, may be at once acquired; and the 
tardy and obstructed progress of our predecessors may 
teach us a shorter and easier way." In conformity with 
this principle so much insisted upon in all the discourses 
of the first President, he enjoins upon the students " an 
implicit obedience to the rules of art, as established on 
the practice of the great masters, that those models 
which have passed through the approbation of ages should 
be considered by them as perfect and infallible guides ; " 
and he concluded his first address by expressing the hope 
" that this institution may answer the expectation of its 
Royal founder; that the present age may vie in arts with 
that of Leo X. ; and that l the dignity of the dying art ' 
(to make use of an expression of Pliny) may be revived 
under the reign of George III." 

The next step taken by the academicians after the 
opening of the schools was to institute the class of mem- 
bers designated "Associate Engravers," to remove the 
complaints which had been urged by that branch of the 



128 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [Cn. V. 

profession against their exclusion under the instrument of 
foundation. How keenly engravers felt their exclusion 
from the Eoyal Academy may be gathered from the tone 
of Sir Eobert Strange (who had attained to considerable 
eminence in his branch of art, and whose engravings are 
very admirable), in the pamphlet he published on the 
subject, to which reference has already been made. The 
regulation by which "a number of engravers, not ex- 
ceeding six, shall be admitted Associates of the Eoyal 
Academy," was passed on the 25th of March, 1769, and 
five elections of members of that class took place in the 
following year, and a sixth in 1771. 

Arrangements for the opening of an annual exhibition 
next occupied attention, and a public announcement of 
the intention was made in March 1769, by the following 
advertisement : 

" Royal Academy, Pall Mall. 

" The President and Council give notice that their Exhibition 
will open on the 26th of April next. Those artists who intend 
to exhibit with the Academicians are desired to send their several 
works to the Koyal Academy, in Pall Mall, on Thursday, the 
13th of April, or before six o'clock in the evening of Friday the 
14th ; after which time no performance will be received. 

"N.B. No copies, nor any pictures without frames, will be 
admitted." 

The original regulations for exhibitors and the rules as 
to admission were as follows : 

" That every performance, once delivered and admitted in the 
Koyal Exhibition and printed in the catalogue, shall not be taken 
away on any pretence before the exhibition for that year ends. 

" No picture copied from a picture or a print, a drawing from 
a drawing, a medal from a medal, a chasing from a chasing, a 
model from a model, or any other species of sculpture or any 
copy, be admitted to the exhibition. 

"The arranging or disposition of the paintings, sculptures, 
models, designs in architecture, &c., for public view to be abso- 
lutely left to the council. 

" The council hath power to reject any performance which 
may be offered to the exhibition. 



CH. V.] THE FIRST EXHIBITION, 1769 129 

"No picture to be received without a frame. 

" No person shall be admitted into the room before the exhi- 
bition opens, the council and necessary servants excepted. 

" That the council shall attend immediately after the time 
limited for the reception of the pictures, &c., is expired, to receive 
or reject the several performances. 

" That no picture, &c. &c., shall be received after the time 
limited for the reception is expired. 

" Exhibitors shall have free admittance during the whole time 
of exhibition. 

" Every student in the Eoyal Academy, not an exhibitor, shall 
have four tickets to admit him four different days to the exhi- 
bition." 

On Wednesday, the 26th of April, 1769, the public 
were admitted to the first exhibition ; the preceding 
Monday had been set apart for the Eoyal visit, but it 
does not appear that their Majesties honoured the exhi- 
bition with their presence till Thursday, the 25th of May, 
on which day it was closed to the public. A guard or 
sentinel was ordered to attend on that occasion ; and the 
practice of stationing sentries at the doors during the ex- 
hibition has ever since been continued. The exhibition 
was not closed till Saturday, the 27th of May, having 
been kept open for four weeks and four days. 

On the evening of the opening day an elegant enter- 
tainment was provided at the St. Alban's Tavern, to 
commemorate this auspicious commencement of the pro- 
ceedings of the Eoyal Academy. Sir Joshua Eeynolds 
presided on the occasion, and several of the nobility and 
many of the aristocracy who were patrons and lovers of 
the fine arts were present to give eclat to the proceedings. 
The event was celebrated also by songs and odes, com- 
posed expressly for the occasion. ' 



The 



NVtflri'li-d K. Hill- In-Ill hid 

Ami iilrmil with nnuiilli 
Apollo wept hi- I. n.k 



eful Influence sheil 
ii-e and tif Art, 

ro<i|tjnu r hr:ul. 

rery tuneful heart : 
ii lyre. 



written by Dr. Franklin, January 1, 
1709, on the institution of the new 
Royal Academy of Arts, by hb 

Majesty : And In their Bcata to tee Alecto reign." 

VOL. I. K 



130 



HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [Cn. V. 



The catalogue was then, as now, published in quarto, 
and was simply entitled "The Exhibition of the Eoyal 
Academy, 1769." It was sold for sixpence; and the 
pictures, &c. in it were arranged under the names of the 
artists, alphabetically placed, with their addresses inserted 
after their names, and the Academicians distinguished by 
the letters A.E.A. An advertisement preceded the list 
of pictures, offering an apology for making the now cus- 
tomary charge of one shilling for admission : 

" ADVERTISEMENT. 

" As the present exhibition is a part of the institution of an 
Academy supported by Koyal munificence, the public may 
naturally expect the liberty of being admitted without any 
expense. 



When lo ! Britannia to the throne 

Of goodness makes her sorrows known ; 
For never there did grief complain, 
Or injured merit plead in vain. 

The monarch heard her just request, 

He saw, he felt, and he redress'd : 

Quick with a master hand he tunes the strings, 
And harmony from discord springs. 

" Thus good, by heaven's command, from evil 

flows; 

From chaos, thus of old, creation rose ; 
When order with confusion join'd, 
And jarring elements combined, 
To grace with mutual strength the great design, 
And speak the Architect divine. 

" Whilst Eastern tyrants in the trophied car 
Wave the red banner of destructive war, 

In George's breast a noble flame 

Is kindled, and a fairer flame 

Excites to cherish native worth, 
To call the latent seeds of genius forth, 

To bid discordant factions cease, 
And cultivate the gentler arts of peace. 

And lo ! from this auspicious day, 
The sun of science teams a purer ray. 

" Behold, a brighter train of years, 
A new Augustan age appears ; 

The time, nor distant far, shall come, 

When England's tasteful youth no more 

Shall wander to Italia's classic shore ; 

No more to foreign climes shall roam 

In search of models better found at home. 

" With rapture the prophetic muse 
Her country's opening glory views, 
Already sees, with wondering eyes, 
Our Titians and our Guides rise : 
Sees new Palladios grace th' historic page, 
And British Raphaels charm a future age. 

' Meantime, ye sons of Art, your offerings bring, 
To grace your patron and your King, 
Bid sculpture grave his honour'd name 
In marble, lasting as his fame : 
Bid painting's magic pencil trace 
The features of his darling race, 
And as it flows through all the royal line, 
Glow with superior warmth and energy divine. 
If towering architecture still 
Can boast her old creative skill, 
Bid some majestic structure rise to view, 
Worthy him and worthy you, 



Where Art may join with nature and with sense, 
Splendour with grace, witli taste magnificence, 
Where strength may be with elegance combined, 
The perfect image of its master's mind. 

" And oh ! if with the tuneful throng 
The muse may dare to mix her humble song, 
In your glad train permit her to appear, 
Tho' poor, yet willing, and tho' rude, sincere, 
To praise the sovereign whom her heart approves, 
And pay this tribute to the Arts she loves." 



Song composed by Mr. Hull, and 
sung by Mr. Vernon, at the feast of 
the Royal Academy, 26th April, 
1769: 



" Let Science hail this happy year, 

Let fame its rising glories sing, 

When Arts unwonted lustre wear, 

And boast a patron in their King : 
And here unrivall'd shall they reign, 
For George protects the polish'd train. 

" To you just ripen'd into birth, 

He gives the fair, the great design ; 
'Tis yours, ye sires of genuine birth, 

To bid the future artists shine : 
That Arts unrivall'd long may reign, 
Where George protects the polish'd train. 

'"Tis yours, oh, well selected band, 

To watch where infant genius blows ; 
To rear the flower with fost'ring hand, 

And every latent sweet disclose : 
That Arts unrivall'd long may reign, 
Where George protects the polish'd train. 

" No more to distant realms repair 

For foreign aid, or borrow'd rule, 
Beneath her monarch's generous care, 

Britannia founds a nobler school, 
Where Arts unrivall'd shall remain, 
For George protects the polish'd train. 

" So shall her sons in science bred, 

Diffuse her Arts from shore to shore ; 
And wide her growing genius spread, 

As round the world her thunders roar : 
For lie, who rules the subject main, 
Great George, protects the polish'd train." 



CH. V.] THE FIRST EXHIBITION, 1769 131 

" The Academicians, therefore, think it necessary to declare 
that this was very much their desire, but they have not been 
able to suggest any other means than that of receiving money for 
admittance, to prevent the rooms from being filled by improper 
persons, to the entire exclusion of those for whom the exhibition 
is apparently intended." 

The number of works contained in the first exhibition 
was 136. Of these 79 were contributed by members of 
the Academy, and 57 by other exhibitors. In this 
number were 40 portraits and 48 landscapes, 22 pieces 
on subjects from history, scripture, and poetry, 5 pictures 
of animals and flowers, 9 pieces of sculpture, 2 specimens 
of die-engraving, and 10 architectural subjects. Glancing 
through the catalogue, we see that there were many 
works which would still attract especial attention, four 
of Eeynolds's graceful portraits of ladies, seven of Francis 
Cotes's admirable portraits, several of them in crayons, in 
which he especially excelled ; and three by Gainsborough, 
whose portraits were equal in excellence to his charming 
landscapes. There were two pictures by West the ' Ee- 
gulus' already referred to 1 , and 'Venus lamenting the 
Death of Adonis : ' landscapes by George Barret, Gains- 
borough, Paul Sandby, Dominic Serres, Eichard Wilson, 
and Zuccarelli : and several poetical pieces by Barto- 
lozzi, Cipriani, and Angelica Kauffman. 

The exhibition met with general approval ; and one of 
the periodicals of the day remarked that " the encourage- 
ment given to this infant institution by Eoyal patronage is 
already visible in the works of genius there exhibited." 
By the mezzotinto print engraved by Earloin, after a pic- 
ture by Brandoin, of the interior of the exhibition in 
1771, the room in which it was held appears to have 
been a small one, some thirty feet long, lighted by a raised 
central skylight. 

Although numerically small, there was so much of real 



1 See pa^e. 67. 
K 2 



132 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [Cn. V. 

art to be seen that we do not wonder that in little more 
than a month the proceeds of the first exhibition amounted 
to 699 17s. Qd. The expenses attending it were 116 
14s. 2d., leaving a surplus of 583 3s. 4c Out of this 
sum grants were made at the close of the exhibition to 
26 of the applicants (artists, their widows or children) 
who were to receive assistance out of the profits arising 
from the exhibition, in accordance with the 17th section 
of the Instrument of Institution. Two persons received 
each 10 guineas ; two 8 guineas ; one 7 guineas ; three 
6 guineas ; twelve 5 guineas ; and six 3 guineas each, 
making a distribution of 145 19s. All the recipients 
of these gifts were unconnected with the Eoyal Academy. 
Subsequent donations of eleven guineas were made ; and 
the son of a painter, William Brooking, was apprenticed 
to Mr. S. Waddon, a peruke maker, for seven years, the 
Academy paying eleven guineas as a fee, and holding 
the indentures, the treasurer being appointed to inquire 
from time to time as to his treatment ; the only instance 
of such a mode of relieving artists' families recorded. 
The remainder of the fund was applied towards the 
general expenses of the Academy. These so far ex- 
ceeded the receipts that a sum of 903 17s. Id. was 
granted from the privy purse in this the first year of its 
existence, and hence the gifts above referred to were 
rightly designated at that time as " Eoyal charities," since 
the Academy did not then possess the means of bestow- 
ing aid to necessitous artists or their families out of its 
own unaided funds. 

The series of lectures was commenced on the 6th of 
October, 1769, by Dr. Hunter, the Professor of Anatomy, 
whose discourses were foUowed by those of the Professors 
of Painting, Architecture and Perspective, delivered by 
Edward Penny, Thomas Sandby, and Samuel Wale re- 
spectively. Each series consisted of six lectures, which 
were continued weekly in succession during the winter 
months. 



CH. V.] FIRST STUDENTS AND PRIZES 133 

In the first year of the existence of the Eoyal Aca- 
demy 77 students were admitted into its schools. Of 
these 36 studied painting, 10 sculpture, 3 architecture, 
and 4 engraving : the department of art chosen by the 
remainder is not specified in the records. Among these 
first students were many of the future members of the 
Academy. John Bacon, Thomas Banks, Richard Cosway, 
Francis Wheatley, Edward Burch, John Yenn, William 
Hamilton, Philip Reinagle, Joseph Farington, and John 
Flaxman became Academicians : and W. Parry, J. Nixon, 
E. Martin, J. Downman, W. Pars, E. Edwards, and B. 
Rebecca attained the rank of Associates. Three gold and 
seven silver medals were awarded the first year. The 
gold medals were gained by John Bacon, Mauritius Lowe, 
and James Gandon : the silver medals by Joseph Strutt, 
M. Liart, J. Kitchinman, J. Grassi, M. P. van Gelder, 
J. Flaxman, and T. Hardwick. l 

On the distribution of the prizes to the students on the 
llth December, 1769, Sir Joshua Reynolds delivered the 
second of his discourses, suggesting to the students the 
course and order of study, the different stages of art, and 
the necessity for artists at all times and in all places to 
lay up materials for the exercise of their art. A general 
assembly of the Academicians was held (and has ever 
since been held annually on the foundation day) to elect 
the President for the ensuing year, as well as to distribute 
the prizes to the students and hear the President's address. 

On the same day the election of associates was deter- 
mined upon, and the following rules were made as to 
the conditions of membership for this new order: 

" There shall be a new order, or rank of members, to be called 
associates of the Royal Academy. 

1 A list of the students to whom necessary to print them in detail, 

gold medals have been awarded is In ninety years (1709 1860) 604 

appended to this work. The num- silver medals have been distributed, 

her of silver medals distributed is so besides 1 IS gold medals, 
large, that it has not been thought 



134 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [Cn. V, 

" They shall be elected from amongst the exhibitors, and 
be entitled to every advantage enjoyed by the Royal Academi- 
cians, excepting that of having a voice in the deliberations, or 
any share in the government of the Academy ; neither shall 
they have admittance to the library but on the public days, or 
the liberty of introducing strangers to the lectures. 

" These associates shall be artists by profession, viz. painters, 
sculptors, or architects. 

" They shall be balloted for in the same manner as the Acade- 
micians are, and be elected by the majority of the members 
balloting. 

" The number of these associates shall not exceed twenty. 

" No apprentice, nor any person under the age of twenty, to 
be admitted an associate. 

" Every associate shall be obliged to exhibit at least one per- 
formance in every exhibition. Omitting so to do (without 
showing sufficient cause) he shall forfeit the sum of 21. 10s. to 
be paid into the treasury of the Academy. 

" The exhibitors who desire to become associates, shall, within 
one month after the close of the exhibition, write their names on 
a list, which list shall be put up in the great room of the 
Academy for that purpose, which shall remain there two months. 
At the end of which time, being three months after the close 
of the exhibition, a general assembly shall be held for the 
purpose of electing associates ; of which day a month's notice 
shall be given to all the Academicians, with a list of the candi- 
dates enclosed. 

" That the vacant seats of Academicians shall be filled from 
these associates only." 

It was also ordered that the election of associate en- 
gravers should be conducted upon the same plan : and a 
form of preamble to the diploma of the associates was 
arranged, to be subscribed by the President and Secretary 
that of the academician only, requiring the signature of 
the Sovereign. It was couched in the following terms : 

" His Majesty having been graciously pleased to establish in 
this, the city of London, a society for the purposes of cultivat- 
ing and improving the arts of painting, sculpture, and architec- 
ture, under the name and title of The Eoyal Academy of Arts, 
and under his own immediate patronage and protection : And 



CH. V.] ASSOCIATES 135 

his Majesty having thought fit to entrust the sole manage- 
ment and direction of the said society, under himself, unto 
forty Academicians, with a power to elect a certain number of 
Associates, 

" We, therefore, the President and Academicians of the said 
Koyal Academy, by virtue of the said power, and in considera- 
tion of your skill in the art of do, by these 
presents, constitute and appoint you, 

gentleman, to be one of the Associates of the Royal Academy, 
hereby granting unto you all the privileges thereof, according 
to the tenor of the laws relating to the admission of associates, 
made in the general assembly of the Academicians, and con- 
firmed by his Majesty's sign manual. In consequence of this 
resolution you are required to sign the obligation in the manner 
prescribed, and the Secretary is hereby directed to insert your 
name in the roll of the Associates." 

The form of Obligation for Associates runs thus : 

" His Majesty having been graciously pleased to institute a 
society for promoting the arts of design, under the name and 
title of The Royal Academy of Arts in London, and having signi- 
fied his Royal intention that the said society should be governed 
by certain laws and regulations, contained in the instrument of 
the establishment, signed by his Majesty's own hand, and having 
empowered the President and Academicians to elect a certain 
number of Associates, 

" We, therefore, whose names are hereunto subscribed, 
being duly elected Associates of the said Royal Academy, 
do promise, each for himself, to observe all the laws and re- 
gulations contained in the said instrument, as also all other 
laws, bye-laws, and regulations, either made, or hereafter 
to be made for the better government of the above-mentioned 
society ; promising furthermore, on every occasion, to employ 
our utmost endeavours to promote the honour and interest of the 
establishment, as long as we shall continue members thereof." 

Of the new members thus introduced into the Royal 
Academy in the year 1770, sixteen were associates, and 
five associate engravers. The full number of twenty asso- 
ciates was not completed till 1773, nor the six associate 
engravers till the year 1771. 



130 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. V. 

The first twenty Associates were : 

1770 Edward Burch, afterwards R.A. 



Richard Cosway R.A. 

John Bacon R.A. 

Edward Garvey R.A. 

James Wyatt R.A. 



j A.: 



Edward Stevens 
George James 
Elias Martin 
Antonio Zucchi 
Michael Angelo Rooker 



1770 William Pars 

1771 William Tomkins 

J. Nollekens, afterwards R.A. 
W. Peters R.A. 

N. T. Dall 
B. Rebecca 

1772 J. Barry, afterwards R.A. 
J. F. Rigand R.A. 
John Russell R.A. 
Stephen Elmer 



The first six Associate Engravers were : 



1770 Thomas Major 
Simon Ravenet 
P. C. Canot 



1770 John Browne 

Thomas Chambers 
1775 Valentine Green 



By these new appointments the Academicians were 
strengthened both by the acquisition of fresh artistic 
power, and by the removal of the objections which had 
been made to their previous apparent exclusiveness. En- 
gravers, if not satisfied, were at least content to find them- 
selves assigned a place in the Eoyal institution for the 
promotion of the arts ; and the rising aspirants for honours 
might hope both for ample employment and fame by con- 
nection with those who had already attained to the high 
dignity which the Crown had been pleased to bestow upon 
the professors of the arts. 

The office of Librarian was established in 1770, the 
Sovereign having appointed Francis Hayman, E.A., to fill 
that appointment by the following order : " His Majesty 
having thought fit to establish a place of Librarian to the 
Eoyal Academy, with a salary of 50 per annum, and it 
being his gracious intention that the said place should 
always be held by some Academician whose abilities and 
assiduity in promoting the arts had long rendered him 
conspicuous, he has now appointed Francis Hayman, Esq., 
E.A., ordering that his salary should commence from 
Midsummer last." 

The first appointment to the office of Secretary for 
foreign correspondence was made in 1769, by the nomi- 



CH. V.] HONORARY MEMBERS 137 

nation of JOSEPH BAEETTI ' to that office ; and in the 
following year the honorary membership was instituted by 
the appointment of Dr. SAMUEL JOHNSON to the professor- 
ship of Ancient Literature ; OLIVER GOLDSMITH to that of 
Ancient History ; and EICHAKD DALTON 2 , as Antiquarian. 
Many illustrious names have subsequently been associated 
with those of the Eoyal Academicians in these honorary 
offices 3 , and it was a happy thought on the part of the 
members of the new art-institution, thus early to gather 
round them the great minds of the age, to blend literature 
with art, and to honour themselves in doing honour to the 
giant intellect of Johnson, and to the gentle Goldsmith, 
who, writing to his brother in regard to his appointment 
to this office, thus playfully referred to his poverty, as a 
contrast to the dignity to which he had attained : " The 
King has lately been pleased to make me professor of 
Ancient History in a Eoyal Academy of painting which he 
has just established, but there is no salary annexed, and I 
took it rather as a compliment to the institution than any 
benefit to myself. Honours to one in my situation, are 
something like ruffles to a man that wants a shirt." 

Yet, if the honour conferred no emolument, it at all 
events gave the professor of Ancient Literature a place at 
the annual festival, which was first held in the following 
year within the walls of the Academy a privilege to be 
esteemed at all times for the sake of the distinguished 



1 Born at Turin, 1716; died in gave evidence in his favour on that 

1789. He was the author of many occasion. 

books connected with Italy and its * He was librarian to George III., 

literature, and the compiler of the and afterwards keeper of the collec- 

well-known dictionary. One even- tion of drawings, models, &c., which 

ing, on going to the Academy, he he made for the king in Italy and 

was attacked by several men in a Greece. He published several works 

street brawl. He defended himself on antiaue statues, Egyptian man- 

with his penknife, and one of his ners ana customs, Turkish ceremo- 

assailants afterwards died from a nies, &c. In early life he was him- 

wound he then received. Baretti self an artist, and was for a time 

was tried for murder, defended him- treasurer of the Incorporated Society 

self on the trial, and was acquitted of Artists, 

by the jury. I>r. Johnson, Burke, ' See Appendix, 
and Garrick were his friends, and 



138 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [Cn. V. 

company which is then assembled, but especially grateful 
to one with the feelings and in the untoward circum- 
stances of the author of the " Vicar of Wakefield." 

The second exhibition, in 1770, shows an increase in 
the number of works exhibited, which then amounted to 
234, and which filled all available space, as 11 were 
omitted though included in the catalogue ; and 8 of these 
were the productions of Academicians who had resigned 
their own privileges of displaying their works to make 
room for others. The catalogue followed the plan of 
arrangement of its predecessor, and included 8 portrait 
pictures by Sir Joshua Eeynolds, 11 by Francis Cotes, 
3 by Eichard Cosway, 3 by Nathaniel Dance, and 5 by 
Gainsborough, besides a " book of drawings " and a land- 
scape by the latter ; views by George Barret, Paul Sandby, 
and Eichard Wilson ; figure subjects by Cipriani, Hayman, 
Angelica Kauffman, Edward Penny, Johann Zoffanij, F. 
Zuccarelli, and others ; architectural drawings by William 
Chambers, George Dance, and Thomas Sandby ; and the 
drawing by Cipriani, together with a print from it, by 
Bartolozzi, of the " Head-piece of the diploma given by 
his Majesty to the Academicians." The receipts amounted 
to 971 6s. ; and, after deducting expenses amounting to 
192 Os. 7|;C?., making grants of relief to the extent 
of 173 5s., and paying for the maintenance of the 
schools and management, there was still a deficiency of 
727 14s. 11^ d. to be defrayed from the privy purse of 
the Eoyal founder. 

On the occasion of the distribution of the prizes to the 
students on the 10th December, 1770, Sir Joshua Eey- 
nolds delivered his third discourse, taking for his subject 
the question of what is understood by the " grand style " 
in art, and showing that the perfect idea of beauty must 
be obtained by the artist in the study of the genuine 
habits of Nature as distinguished from all influences of 
custom or fashion. The first impressions from the dies for 
the medals designed by Cipriani, and executed by Mr. 



CH. V.] REMOVAL TO OLD SOMERSET HOUSE 



139 



Pingo, were distributed on this occasion. It would seem 
that for some years the prizes awarded by the Society of 
Arts seemed to have been preferred to these honours 
bestowed by the Eoyal Academy, probably from no other 
reason than that the money which the former bestowed 
was more acceptable to needy young aspirants than the 
medals of the latter. 

Early in the year 1771 the King gave an additional proof 
of his interest in the Academy by directing the Lord Cham- 




Portion of Old Somerset House, occupied l>y the Royal Academy 

berlain to appropriate to its use apartments in his palace 
at Somerset House, the old building which became the 
hereditary property of the Crown on the attainder of the 
Duke of Somerset in 1552, and which was subsequently 
given up by King George III. to the Government, in order 
that it might become the site of Government offices, re- 
serving to himself, however, the right of appropriating a 
part of the new building, when completed, to the Royal 
Academy and other learned societies. Until 1780, when 



ROYAL ACADLMi", Somcrfet Hcufe, 
Tap. 9, 1771 

NOT:Cr; is hereby givsn to the MEM- 
BERS affd S > UUENTp. tha' tlisACADEMV 
i$ removc-1 to SOMERSET ;>U*E ->nci -.< ill open 
oil N'.v)NDAV r.sxt the i4th 1 ift. nt jr'ivs o'Cl. c irt 
the Afternoon. 

F. M. NEW TOM, Sec. 



with. 

his Royal Highnefs the Duke erf" Cumber- 
land has ordered a Prcf^nt of One Hundred 
Guineas to be made to the Royal Academy, re- 
moved from Pall-mall to Somerfct-houfe. 



'he D. of C. has given 100 Guin<e# Tt 
al Academy. This is laudable ' ^' eF; 
rcYe ^n the Hint, and giye 100 G^ ice 0! 
HarvKi'^ Poor ? v ^*-* - /7^- . 



ROYAL ACAOEMV, Somerfrt Hcufs 
March 7, 17-1, 

THE Prefident aifi Council give Notice, 
that t!,e EXi '.'2ITIUN will bsopeied on the 
4th cf April, at tht ;ml E h/brion Room of the 
4.oyal Academy in P iLL-MA. L ; where the Artifts 
*'ho intend to . ' i ; i.'t -.-'i:' t'.e Academicians are de- 
Ired to fend their fevera \\ orks on i hurfclay the i ith 
jf April, or before Six >' lock in the Evening t,f Fri- 
day the i ith ; after whic i Ti:ne nj Perfcimance will 
; received. 

F. M. N'.WTON, Sec. R.A. 
Nfte, Mv Copies whatever, nor any Imitations of 
Pai-.ting in Necdie-w.rk, artificial Flowers, Si oil- 
work, or any i>'.ii4; th.it KM d will be adm/.tcd, 
ner any P't&i' ^s, ic. v.-i:hout Fr.imcs. 



Weddcrburne was on Monday \i Juapp ,irfled 
Attorney General, ^j^ . /4,'f'ft' 

Ll * M nday^the Acadeniician^fnet for the 
hra Tim: fince the Removal of the Royal A- 
Cideniy to S...merfct Houfc : The PnrfiJent on 



140 



HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [Cn. V. 



the new building was finished, the only rooms occupied 
by the Academy in the old palace were those for its 
meetings, libraries, schools, and lectures, which were for- 
merly in the possession of Sir James Wright, the exhi- 
bition being still held in its rooms in Pall Mall. The 
Eoyal Academy met in their new apartments for the first 
time on the 14th January, 1771 ; his Eoyal Highness the 
Duke of Cumberland and several of the nobility were pre- 
sent on the occasion. 1 

It was in this year also that the first of those interesting 
annual gatherings the dinner preceding the opening of 
the exhibition was held 2 , which have ever since been 
so attractive to all those who are privileged to be present 
either as members of the Academy or as guests, and which 
even the public without look forward to with interest, 
since of late years reports of the proceedings have been 
published in the newspapers. One who has been favoured 
with an invitation to meet that select and talented com- 
pany has described both the first dinner, and his own im- 
pressions of the effect of a similar gathering in later times, 
so graphically, that we give his account of it, rather than 
any dry detail of facts which might be gathered from 
other sources : 

"On St. Greorge's Day, April 23, 1771, Sir Joshua Eeynolds 
took the chair at the first annual dinner of the Eoyal Academy, 
when the entertainers, himself and his fellow- Academicians, sat 
surrounded by such evidences of claims to admiration as their 
own pencils had adorned the walls with, and their guests were the 
most distinguished men of the day the highest in rank and 



1 In a letter from John Deare to 
his father, dated March 24, 1777, 
quoted in Smith's "Npllekens and 
his Times," vol. ii. p. 307, he says : 
"In my last I promised you a de- 
scription of the Royal Academy. It 
is in Somerset House, Strand, for- 
merly a palace. There is one large 
room for the Plaster Academy ; one 
for the Life ; a large room in which 



lectures are given every Mondav 
night hy Dr. Hunter on Anatomy, 
Wale on Perspective, Penny on 
Painting, and Thomas Sandby on 
Architecture." 

2 It was resolved that twenty-five 
gentlemen should be invited on St. 
George's Day, and it appears that 
the dinner was charged at 5s. a head 
and Is. 6d. the dessert. 



with.' 

1 is Royal Highnefs the Duke of Cnmber- 
hnd has ordered a Prcfrnt of One Hundred 
Guineas to be made to die Royal Academy, re- 
moved From Pall-mall to Somerfct-ho'ufe. 



'he D. of C. has given 100 Guin(e& T* 
al Academy. This is laudable' < lie F: 
rcre f.-n the Hint, and give 100 G?' ce ' 
n/in^ Poor ? v '*** - S?}, , 



.1- 







Weddtrburne was on Monday ^ii^htapp ,irtlect 



Attorney General. . 

L;iit M nday^the Acadeniicianixfnet for *the 
fir.t Tim: fince the Removal of the Royal A- 
cidemy to Scmerfet Houfe : The Proficient on 



FIRST ANNUAL DINNER 141 

'"5 ?' 

5" p" s the highest in genius, the poet as well as the prince, the minister 
of State and the man of trade. Goldsmith attended this and 
every dinner until his death, and so became personally known 
to several men belonging to both parties in the State, who 
doubtless at any other time, or in any other place, would hardly 
have remembered or acknowledged his name. Nor, it may be 
added, has the attraction of these social meetings suffered di- 
minution since. All who have had the privilege of invitation to 
them can testify to the interest they still excite ; to the fact that 
princes and painters, men of letters and ministers of State, 
tradesmen and noblemen, still assemble at that hospitable table 
with objects of a common admiration and sympathy around 
them ; to the happy occasion that their friendly greetings afford 
for the suspension of all excitements of rivalry, not between 
artists or Academicians alone, but between the most eager com- 
batants of public life, ministerial and ex-ministerial ; and to the 
striking effect with which, as the twilight of the summer even- 
ing gathers round while the dinner is in progress, the sudden 
lighting of the room at its close, as the President proposes the 
health and pronounces the name of the Sovereign, appears to 
give new and startling life to the forms and colours on the 
pictured walls. 

" Undoubtedly this annual dinner, then, must be pronounced 
one of the happiest of those devices of the President by which he 
steered the new and unchartered Academy through the quick- 
sands and shoals that had wrecked the chartered institution out 
of which it rose. Academies cannot create genius : academies 
had nothing to do with the begetting of Hogarth, or Reynolds, 
or Wilson, or Gainsborough, the greatest names of our English 
school ; but they may assist in the wise development of such 
original powers, they may guide and regulate their prudent and 
successful application; and, aboveall,they may and do strengthen 
the painter's claims to consideration and esteem, and give to that 
sense of dignity which should invest every liberal art, and which 
too often passes for an airy nothing amid the bustle and crowd 
of more vulgar pretences, * a local habitation and a name.' This 
was the main wise drift of Reynolds and his fellow-labourers ; it 
was the charter that held them together in spite of all their 
later dissensions ; and to this day it outweighs the gravest fault 
or disadvantage which has yet been charged against the Royal 
Academy. 



142 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [Cn. V. 

" A fragment of the conversation at this first Academy dinner 
has survived ; and takes us from it to the darkest contrast, to 
the most deplorable picture of human hopelessness and misery 
which even these pages have described. Goldsmith spoke of an 
extraordinary boy who had come up to London from Bristol, 
died very suddenly and miserably, and left a wonderful treasure 
of ancient poetry behind him. Horace Walpole listened care- 
lessly at first, it would seem, but very soon perceived that the 
subject of conversation had a special interest for himself. Some 
years afterwards he repeated what passed, with an affectation of 
equanimity which even then he did not feel. f Dining at the 
Royal Academy,' he said, ' Dr. Goldsmith drew the attention of 
the company with an account of a marvellous treasure of ancient 
poems lately discovered at Bristol, and expressed enthusiastic 
belief in them, for which he was laughed at by Dr. Johnson, 
who was present. I soon found this was the trouvaille of my 
friend Chatterton, and I told Dr. Goldsmith that this novelty 
was known to me, who might, if I had pleased, have had the 
honour of ushering the great discovery to the learned world. 
You may imagine, Sir, we did not at all agree in the measure of 
our faith ; but though his credulity diverted me, my mirth was 
soon dashed, for on asking about Chatterton, he told me he had 
been in London, and had destroyed himself.' " ' 

The exhibition, which was thus inaugurated by a fes- 
tive gathering, showed a still advancing progress over 
the two preceding ones ; 256 works were exhibited, and 
16 omitted from want of space the difficulty which has 
ever since been on the increase, notwithstanding the larger 
extent of accommodation subsequently obtained. In these 
early exhibitions it was not the practice to name the per- 
sons whose portraits were hung on the walls beyond that 
of " a lady," " a nobleman," " a gentleman," &c. ; and, to 
satisfy the curiosity of visitors, a key to the catalogue 
was published by Baretti (the secretary for foreign cor- 
respondence), giving the information as to the identity of 
the several portraits. Sir Joshua Eeynolds this year ex- 
hibited several fancy subjects as 'Venus chiding Cupid 



1 The " Life and Times of Oliver Goldsmith/' by John Forster : 3rd 
edition, pp. .3724. 



CH. V.] EXHIBITION OF 1771 143 

for learning to cast accompts,' ' A Nymph and Bacchus,' 
' A Girl Reading,' ' An Old Man,' besides portraits ; 
Mason Chamberlin, Cosway, N. Dance, Gainsborough, 
and N. Hone, followed in their own branch of art. West 
exhibited nine historical pictures, and among them the 
famous one of ' The Death of General Wolfe,' in which 
he had ventured very wisely to depart from the custom of 
his predecessors by representing the personages of the 
story in the modern costume of their day, and not in the 
ancient classic garb. Angelica Kauffman contributed six 
works on classical and poetical subjects; and Wilson, 
Sandby, Serres, and Barret were among the chief land- 
scape painters. The new associates also contributed a 
large share of attraction, and the engravers exhibited 
proofs of their skill. The receipts amounted to 1124 5s. ; 
the expenses to 217 9s. 3|^. Donations and grants to 
the extent of 188 4s. were made at the close of the exhi- 
bition, and at the end of the year the deficiency in the 
funds for the third time was paid out of the privy purse 
the Eoyal aid this year amounting to 669 13s. Id. 

It was in this year, 1771, that the " Travelling Student- 
ship " was established, the appointments being made from 
among the gold medal students, and the object being to 
afford those who gave promise of superior ability the 
means of studying their art abroad for three years a 
great boon to aspiring artists. The first selection proved 
an unfortunate one ; Mauritius Lowe, who was appointed 
to receive the salary of 60 for three years, having by mis- 
conduct forfeited the allowance the following year. On 
his recall, the second on the list of successful competitors 
for the gold medal John Bacon, afterwards the eminent 
sculptor was sent to Italy in his stead. The President 
chose the subject of " Invention in Painting " in delivering 
his discourse to the students when distributing the prizes 
on the 10th of December of this year. The schools still 
continued to receive a large number of students, although 
not so many as on their first opening, 150 having been 



144 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [Cn. V. 

admitted since their commencement. Of these, twenty- 
two eventually attained the rank of Associate or Acade- 
mician, and many won for their names an enduring 
remembrance as masters of their art. 

In 1772 the fourth exhibition was held, presenting 
no new features, but increasing the number of works 
displayed to 310, besides 14 additional paintings omitted 
for want of room. Six of Eeynolds's ever attractive 
portraits, several of Gainsborough's graceful delineations 
of ladies and 10 drawings of landscapes, besides 10 
large historical compositions by West and Angelica 
Kauffman, would alone in our own day render an exhi- 
bition attractive. Barry, then beginning to obtain cele- 
brity, exhibited his ' Venus Kising from the Sea ' and 
other similar works ; some of Cosway's miniatures, of 
Flaxman's models, and of Nollekens' busts, were there ; 

VHC. US,./ . . ' . ' 

t.ii and an attractive portrait picture was exhibited by the 
. * rr- *: *u -D . i 

new member, Jonann Zonanij, representing the Koyal 

Academicians in the hah 1 of the Academy during one of 
the evenings devoted to drawing from the living model. 
The picture has been admirably engraved by Earlom in 
mezzotinto, and is an interesting memorial of the earlier 
days of the Academy. There was a decline in the amount 
of the receipts, the sum being only 976 5s. The ex- 
penses of the exhibition were 221 3s. lO^d. ; aid to 
artists and their families was granted to the extent of 
208 9s. ; and, after the charges for the schools, &c., were 
defrayed, a deficiency of 623 10s. l^d. remained, to be 
again made up from the privy purse of the King. The 
fifth of Eeynolds's discourses was delivered this year on 
the occasion of distributing the prizes on the 10th of 
December, when he continued the subject of the preced- 
ing one, illustrating his teaching by an analysis of the 
works of the great masters in the ancient schools of art. 

In the foil owing year (1773) the full complement of 
forty academicians was attained. Originally only thirty- 
four were nominated by the King; subsequently, in 1769, 



CH. V.] THE FIFTH EXHIBITION 145 

his Majesty named two others, Johan Zoffanij and William 
Hoare ; but after that time all the academicians obtained 
their appointment by the election of the members. Thus 
Edward Burch and Eichard Cosway (two of the first 
students) were elected associates in 1770, and E.A. in 
1771. Joseph Nollekens, the sculptor, was elected in the 
same year ; and James Barry, the painter, in 1773. Even 
at this early period death had visited the new community, 
and Francis Cotes and John Baker had passed away from 
among them. 

The fifth exhibition, in 1773, again showed an increase 
in the number of works sent for exhibition, 359 being 
hung, and 26 excluded, 9 of these being the productions 
of the academicians, and one of them a full-length portrait 
of a lady by Eeynolds. But in this collection the Presi- 
dent had twelve of his most celebrated works displayed ; 
among them, his portraits of their Eoyal Highnesses the 
Duke and Duchess of Cumberland, the famous ' Straw- 
berry Girl,' 1 which was sold to Lord Carysfort for fifty 
guineas, and realised, a few years since, at the sale of 
Samuel Eogers' pictures, the sum of two thousand ! and 
another picture, of a very opposite character, the ' Count 
Ugolino and his Children,' from Dante's " Inferno." Here, 
too, were twelve of West's classical and Scripture pieces, 
five similar works by Kauffman, and a large number of 
portraits and landscapes by Cosway and Zoffanij, Sandby, 
De Loutherbourg, and D. Serres. The receipts of the 
exhibition were 1006 8s.; and its expenses, 263 7s. 
A sum of 200 1 Is. was distributed afterwards ; the 
charges for the schools, &c., absorbed the balance, and 
a further sum of 458 1 Is. 7(/., which the King again 
graciously supplied from the privy purse. 

It was in this year (1773), while the Eoyal Academy 



Reynolds often said that no lifetime, and when ho painted the 

man ever produced more than half- ' Strawberry Girl, ' he remarked, 

a-dozen original works in his whole " This is one of my originals." 

VOL. I. L 



146 inSTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. V. 

was still in the infancy of its career, and had not yet 
overcome the opposition of rival societies of art, that its 
members gave a noble instance of their public spirit, and 
of their generous desire to advance the cause of art, at a 
great cost of time and labour to themselves, by offering 
to paint, at their own expense, a series of Scriptural 
histories, for the decoration of St. Paul's Cathedral. This 
proposal arose out of one made by some of the members 
that the chapel in Old Somerset Palace, which had been 
assigned to them, would afford a good opportunity of 
convincing the public of the advantages that would arise 
from ornamenting churches and cathedrals with works of 
art ; but the president considered that the Metropolitan 
Cathedral would be the best site for such an illustration 
of their purpose. The artists selected to carry out the 
design were Angelica Kauffman, Sir Joshua Eeynolds, 
Benjamin West, Cipriani, N. Dance, and James Barry. 
The latter says 1 that "Dance had chosen for his subject, 
the 'Eaising of Lazarus;' Eeynolds, the 'Virgin and 
Christ in the Manger ;' West, ' Christ Eaising the Widow's 
Son;' and mine, 'Christ Eejected by the Jews, before 
Pilate.'" As this offer was in accordance with the original 
design and intention of Sir C. Wren, the architect of the 
cathedral, it was expected that it would have been readily 
accepted by the ecclesiastical authorities, especially as the 
King gave his ready consent to the proposal. In this, 
however, the artists were doomed to suffer a sad dis- 
appointment. The causes which led to its rejection are 
stated in detail by Dr. Newton, then Dean of St. Paul's, 
and afterwards Bishop of Bristol, in the life, written by 
himself, prefixed to the 4to edition of his works, 1782. 
He says : 

" As he was known to be such a lover of their art, the Eoyal 
Academy of Painters, in 1773, made an application to him, by 
their worthy president, Sir Joshua Keynolds, representing that 



1 Letter to the Duke of Richmond, 14th October, 1773. 



CH. V.] OFFER TO DECORATE ST. PAUL'S CATHEDRAL 147 

the art of painting, notwithstanding the present encouragement 
given to it in England, would never grow up to maturity and 
perfection unless it could be introduced into churches, as in 
foreign countries, individuals being for the most part fonder 
of their own portraits and those of their families than of any 
historical pieces ; that, to make a beginning, the Koyal Acade- 
micians offered their services to the Dean and Chapter to 
decorate St. Paul's with Scripture histories . . . that these 
pictures should be seen, and examined, and approved by the 
Academy before they were offered to the Dean and Chapter, and 
the Dean and Chapter might then give directions for alterations 
and amendments, and receive or refuse them as they thought them 
worthy or unworthy of the places for which they were designed ; 
none should be put up but such as were entirely approved, and 
they should all be put up at the charge of the Academy, without 
any expense to the members of the church. St. Paul's had all 
along wanted some such ornament, for, rich and beautiful as it 
was without, it was too plain and unadorned within. Sir James 
Thornhill had painted the ' History of St. Paul ' in the cupola, 
the worst part of the church that could have been painted. . . . 
They had better have been placed below, where they would 
have been seen, for there are compartments which were originally 
designed for bas-reliefs, or such decorations ; but the parliament, 
as it is said, having taken part of the fabric-money, and applied 
it to King William's wars, Sir C. Wren complained that his 
wings were dipt, and the church was deprived of its ornaments. 
Here, then, a fair opportunity was offered for retrieving the loss, 
and supplying former defects. It was certainly a most generous 
and noble offer on the part of the Academicians, and the public 
ought to think themselves greatly obliged to them for it. The 
Dean and Chapter were all equally pleased with it; and the 
Dean, in the fulness of his heart, went to communicate it to the 
great patron of arts, and readily obtained his Royal consent and 
approbation ; but the trustees of the fabric, the Archbishop of 
Canterbury and the Bishop of London, were also to be consulted, 
and they disapproved the measure. Bishop Terrick, both as 
trustee of the fabric and as bishop of the diocese, strenuously 
opposed it. Whether he took it amiss that the proposal was not 
made to him, and by him the intelligence conveyed to his 
Majesty, or whether he was really afraid, as he said, that it 
would occasion a great noise and clamour against it, as an artful 

x. 2 



148 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. V. 

intrusion of Popery, whatever were his reasons, it must be 
acknowledged that some other serious persons disapproved the 
setting up of pictures in churches." 

An intimation was given to Sir Joshua Eeynolds that 
the project must therefore be abandoned, a decision 
which was alike disappointing to the artists who had thus 
volunteered to devote their services gratuitously for the 
decoration of the noble structure, and to the public, who, 
far from thinking that Popery would be strengthened, felt 
that the representation of Scriptural scenes might be sub- 
ordinated to the teaching of the simple truths of the 
Protestant faith. 

The new building belonging to the Society of Arts, 
Manufactures, &c., in the Adelphi, was occupied by the 
society in the year (1774) following that in which the 
above proposition had been made ; and probably wishing 
to take advantage of the public spirit of the artists, the 
society sent an invitation to the members of the Royal 
Academy to paint a series of pictures for the decoration 
of their great hall of meeting, offering, by way of re- 
muneration, that the pictures, when finished, should be 
exhibited for the benefit of those who might have 
executed them. Eesolutions were passed, proposing to 
have eight historical and two allegorical pictures, the 
former illustrating English history, the latter to be 
" emblematical designs relative to the institution and 
views of the society," and naming Eeynolds, West, 
Cipriani, Dance, Mortimer, Barry, Wright, Eomney, 
Penny, and Angelica Kauffman as proper persons to 
execute them. But the rejection of their former proposal 
by the Bishop of London caused the members of the 
Eoyal Academy to decline any more similar undertakings, 
and the plan of the Society of Arts remained in abeyance 
till 1777, when James Barry offered to paint a series of 
pictures on ' Human Culture ' for the society, which 
occupied him nearly seven years, in return for which 
the society granted him the proceeds of two exhibitions, 



CH. V.] THE EXHIBITIONS OF 17745 149 

which yielded 503, voted him 250 guineas, their gold 
medal, and a seat of membership. His desire for fame 
was thus gratified, and he was satisfied with the remunera- 
tion he received ; yet his labour was so far unprofitable 
to him that it necessarily involved years of poverty and 
seclusion. 

The sixth exhibition, in 1774, did not present any new 
features, or make any advance on its predecessors. The 
number of works exhibited was nearly the same, 354 ; 
the number omitted (always at that time numbered and 
described in the catalogue) only 8. Historical and fan- 
ciful pictures were numerous. There were 3 by Barry, 
7 by A. Kauffinan, 3 by B. West, including 'Moses re- 
ceiving the Tables,' a design for a picture intended to have 
been painted for St. Paul's Cathedral, and a design for the 
altar-piece of St. Stephen's, Walbrook. Sir J. Eeynolds 
exhibited twelve pictures, chiefly portraits. In landscape 
the principal exhibitors were Barret, De Loutherbourg, 
Booker, Sandby, Serres and Wilson. Bartolozzi, Cipriani 
and Fuseli contributed drawings ; and Bacon, Nollekens, 
and Wilton were the chief sculptors. The receipts in- 
creased to 1158. The expenses amounted to 286 
13s. 2^d. ; 216 6s. was distributed as gifts at the close 
of the exhibition ; and on the accounts of the year the 
sum of 368 17,9. lid. was furnished by the King to 
meet the expenditure for the schools, &c. 

In the following year, 1775, 390 works were exhibited, 
and 10 excluded, among the latter 4 by Angelica 
Kauffinan, and a basso-relievo by Banks. The Presi- 
dent showed by 1 2 portrait pictures that he was still the 
favourite in that branch of art. West contributed 7 
pictures, chiefly of Scripture subjects : A Kauffinan and 
Barry followed with classical designs : De Loutherbourg, 
Booker, Sandby, Serres and Wilson sent many landscapes ; 
and among the prominent works in sculpture were the 
graceful models by John Bacon, Flaxman and Nollekens. 
The exhibition receipts amounted to 1001 8*. ; its 



150 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [Cn. V. 

expenses to 310 17 s. Sd. ; and after a sum of 84 had 
been distributed in aid to artists and their families, there 
was still the necessity to appeal to the liberality of the 
Royal Patron of the Academy to supply 408 Qs. 8|d., 
to defray its expenses, out of the privy purse. 

Hitherto the Academicians had derived no benefit from 
the annual distribution of the money which had been 
placed at their disposal ; but in 1775 one of the members, 
J. Meyer, considering that it often happens from a va- 
riety of causes that even men of great talents are ex- 
posed in old age to penury and want, proposed that 
instead of the Academy expending annually 200 (as 
prescribed by one of the laws of the institution) in chari- 
table gifts to persons who were often strangers to art, or 
had but small connexion with it, an annual investment in 
Government securities should be made of half that amount, 
to accumulate into a fund, " to be paid in sums not ex- 
ceeding 25 per annum to such Academicians (or their 
widows) or associates, if thought proper, as shall appear 
to have no income of their own exceeding 50 per 
annum." This judicious arrangement was gladly acceded 
to by the Council, and approved by the King : and thus 
was founded the " Pension Fund " which has since been 
so great a boon to many a talented artist in his declining 
years, and so great a benefit to otherwise impoverished 
families. Among the first members of the Academy who 
derived advantage from this measure was Samuel Wale, 
who was placed on the fund in 1778 ; and after that date 
the widows of members appear on the list of claimants. 

Although the Academy had thus steadily progressed in 
establishing its reputation, by the high character of the 
works exhibited by its members, and by the instruction 
afforded by them to students in art, it must not be 
forgotten that during all these years it was contending 
with opposition from the two rival societies out of which 
it arose. In 1771 an octavo pamphlet was published, 
entitled "The Conduct of the Royal Academicians while 



CH. V.] SIR K. STRANGE'S PAMPHLET 151 

members of the Incorporated Society of Artists of Great 
Britain, viz. from 1760 to their Expulsion in 1769, with 
part of their Transactions since " in which the conduct 
of the seceders from the Society was, of course, un- 
sparingly condemned. And in 1775, the same kind of 
attack was renewed by an old antagonist, Sir Eobert 
Strange, the eminent engraver, who in that year published 
"An Inquiry into the Eise and Establishment of the Eoyal 
Academy of Arts : to which is prefixed a Letter to the 
Earl of Bute," to the statements in which we have already 
had occasion to refer. With him the question at issue 
was a personal one, his own exclusion from member- 
ship with the Academy on the plea that he was an en- 
graver. It was then considered that as the engraver was 
but the transcriber of the work of the artist, he could 
not take equal rank with the latter, from whose work he 
was but a copyist ; and although the course taken imme- 
diately after the formation of the Academy, in the elec- 
tion of associate engravers, was designed to recognise the 
merits of those who contributed so much to spread a 
taste for art by means of their skilful and truthful 
engravings, and who displayed so much of the artist's 
feeling and ability in the rendering of his work yet it 
failed to satisfy the ambition of such men as Sir Eobert 
Strange, who had already attained an eminent place 
among English engravers. A still further concession of 
the original principle of the Eoyal Academy in this re- 
spect has been made within the last few years ; and it is 
to be hoped that the ill-feeling so long excited between 
two classes, whose mutual co-operation is so essential to 
the advantage of each, will now finally pass away. 

The exhibition of 1776 contained 364 works, and ex- 
cluded 15. Its chief attractions were still created by the 
number of Eeynolds's brilliant portrait pictures, the his- 
torical and fanciful creations of Angelica Kaufiman, Ben- 
jamin West, Samuel Wale and Barry, the miniatures of 
Cosway, the portraits of Beechey and others, and the 



152 HISTORY OF TILE ROYAL ACADEMY [Cn. V 

landscapes of Barret, De Loutherbourg, Paul Sandby, 
Serres and Wilson. Many of the new associates were dis- 
playing proofs of their genius ; and with the addition of a 
variety of contributions from without, we can easily con- 
ceive that these early exhibitions afforded as many objects 
of interest to the real lover of art as we could find in the 
present day. This at all events proved more attractive 
than any of its predecessors, and produced 1248 16s. 
The expenses were 316 13s. 10|e?., and (acting upon 
the resolution of the preceding year to invest one-half 
of the sum usually applied to the relief of artists) only 
94 10s. was distributed. The expenses of the Aca- 
demy being defrayed, 177 Is. b^d. had to be made up 
by the Royal bounty the sum thus generously pro- 
vided from the King's privy purse being gradually re- 
duced, as the Academy continued to gain public support 
and estimation. 

In the following year, 1777, no less than 423 works 
were sent to the exhibition, which still retained the charac- 
teristic appearance which would be given by so many 
works by artists whose well-known styles would lead at 
once to their identity. First in the number, as well as 
in the excellence of his works, was Reynolds, who this 
year contributed 13 paintings. Other portraits were by 
Beechey, Cosway, and John Singleton Copley, besides 
some by Gainsborough, who also sent a few of his charm- 
ing landscapes. Other scenes were depicted by Barret, 
De Loutherbourg, Wilson, Sandby, and Serres. Angelica 
Kauffman and West displayed several fanciful pieces, and 
the latter exhibited two pictures containing portraits of 
the Queen and the Royal family. Bacon, Flaxman, and 
Nollekens still held the first place in sculpture. The 
Academy's receipts were this year 11 93 Is., its expenses 
323 12s. 2d. The grants amounted to 121, and the 
sum of 211 Is. Q^d. was contributed from the privy 
purse to meet the deficiency on its liabilities for the main- 
tenance of the schools, &c. In this year John Soane, the 



CH. V.] EXHIBITIONS OF 17789 153 

architect, was sent to Eome as a travelling student from 
the Koyal Academy. 

In the catalogue of the Exhibition of 1778, 427 works 
are included, but only 404 were exhibited ; and 3 of 
Gainsborough's portraits were of the number omitted. 
Eight others by him, besides 2 landscapes, were exhi- 
bited. Keynolds had only 4 pictures, West only 3 ; 
but Beechey, Copley, Cosway, A. Kauffman, and Bar- 
tolozzi contributed a number of their performances in the 
same branch of art ; while Barret, Daniell, De Louther- 
bourg, Eooker, Serres, Wheatley, and Wilson furnished an 
array of landscapes ; and Bacon, Flaxman, and Nollekens 
well represented the sculptors. The receipts were larger 
than on any former occasion, the exhibition having pro- 
duced 1475 Us. Its expenses absorbed 363 16s. 5e?., 
grants of aid another 100, and after the charges of the 
Academy had been defrayed, and its annual investment 
made to the pension fund, the deficit, 236 11s. 4c?., 
was supplied by the privy purse. 

In 1779 the last exhibition of the Eoyal Academy 
in Pall Mall took place. Four hundred and eleven 
works were sent for exhibition, but of these 16 were 
omitted. Among those displayed were the works de- 
signed by Keynolds for New College Chapel, Oxford 
the ' Nativity,' and 'Faith, Hope, and Charity' besides 
some portraits by him, Gainsborough, West, Cosway, 
Beechey, and Hone ; several historical and poetical com- 
positions by West, Cipriani, and Angelica Kauffman ; 
landscapes by Wilson, Gainsborough, Barret, De Louther- 
bourg, Sandby, and Serres, and a large collection of 
genre subjects by artists of less note. The receipts 
yielded 1380 16s., its expenses were 359 11s. 9^<f. 
The sum of 100 was granted to applicants for the Eoyal 
Charity, as it was then appropriately termed ; and on the 
charges for the year 185 15s. lOJe?. was deficient, 
which the King's bounty supplied from the privy purse. 

The schools of the Academy during these years had 



154 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. V. 

continued to prosper, an average of thirty students seek- 
ing instruction in them. Besides their actual studies, and 
the lectures of the professors, the President continued his 
discourses to them on the great principles of art. Fol- 
lowing his fifth discourse in 1772 (which we have already 
noticed) three others had been delivered in the years 
1774, 1776, and 1778, on the occasion of the distribution 
(in December of alternate years) of the gold medals to the 
students. In the sixth discourse the subject of imitation 
was discussed, so far as a painter is concerned in it. The 
President defined invention to be "one of the great 
marks of genius ; but if we consult experience we shall 
find that it is by being conversant with the inventions of 
others that we learn to invent, as by reading the thoughts 
of others we learn to think ; " and he sums up his dis- 
course by urging the followers of the arts " to study the 
great works of the great masters for ever. . . . Study 
nature attentively, but always with those masters in your 
company." In his seventh discourse, Eeynolds sought to 
demonstrate the reality of a standard of taste, and the 
idea of perfect beauty when that taste is rightly formed ; 
and in the eighth to define those principles of art which 
have their foundation in the mind, such as novelty, variety, 
and contrast. 

The Eoyal Academy was now honoured and encouraged 
by a fresh token of the Eoyal favour, and a substantial 
proof of the advantage of securing the patronage of the 
Sovereign in the promotion of the arts. New Somerset 
House was completed in 1780, and early in the year the 
treasurer of the society received the following letter from 
the Secretary to the Lords of the Treasury, announcing that 
the apartments which the King had ordered to be appro- 
priated to the Eoyal Academy, were ready for their use : - 

" To Sir William Chambers. 

" SIR, The Lords Commissioners of his Majesty's Treasury 
having taken into consideration your letter of the 27th of 



CH. V.] OCCUPATION OF PART OF NEW SOMERSET HOUSE 155 

March, stating that the apartments allotted to the Eoyal 
Academy in the new building at Somerset House are now com- 
pletely finished, and that his Majesty has directed this year's 
exhibition of pictures to be there; and desiring to have an 
order for delivering up the same either to the president or 
council, or to the treasurer of the Academy, who is, by virtue of 
his office, to have the inspection and care both of the buildings 
and all other his Majesty's effects employed in that institution : 
I am commanded by their lordships to direct you to deliver up 




The Royal Academy, New Somerset Houae 

into the hands of the treasurer of the Royal Academy, all the 
apartments allotted to his Majesty's said Academy in the new 
buildings in Somerset House, which are to be appropriated to 
the uses specified in the several plans of the same, heretofore 
settled. And you are to signify to the officers of the Academy 
that they, their families, servants, tradesmen, and visitors, are to 
use for their apartments the stair of communication only, and 



156 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [Cn. V. 

not to use the great stair for any common purposes ; and as the 
residence of the secretary in the Academy is an indulgence 
lately proposed, which upon trial may be found inconvenient, or 
the rooms he occupies be hereafter wanted for other purposes, 
you are to signify to him that he holds the same merely at 
pleasure, to be resumed whenever it shall be thought proper. 
And to the end that all the parts of the new building may be 
preserved in good repair, clean, undamaged, and undisfigured, 
you are strictly to direct and order that no tubs or pots of earth, 
either with or without flowers or trees, creepers, or other 
shrubs, be placed in the gutters of the said buildings, or upon 
the roofs and parapets, or upon the court areas or windows, 
niches, or any other aperture of the same; and also that no 
plaster, paper, or other thing be put up, plastered, or pasted 
against any of the walls thereof, under any pretence whatever. 
And you are further to direct that on no account whatever, any 
change shall be made in the destination of the apartments 
appropriated to the public use, nor any alteration either in those 
or any others that are or shall be inhabited by any of the 
officers or servants without the approbation of this board, and 
that no person be permitted to let or lend their apartments under 
any pretext whatever. 

" I am, Sir, 

" Your most humble servant, 

"JOHN KOBINSON. 
" Treasury Chambers, llth April, 1780." 

The apartments thus allotted to the Eoyal Academy (by 
the right which the King reserved to himself, when Old 
Somerset House was given up to the Government for 
the erection of Government offices, of appropriating a 
portion of the new edifice, fronting the Strand, to the 
Eoyal Academy, the Society of Antiquaries, and the 
Eoyal Society) were built expressly for their use, a large 
room being provided for an exhibition-room at the top of 
the building. The entrance was by the doorway on the 
right, as you enter the vestibule from the Strand. In the 
entrance-hall, at the foot of the stairs, afterwards stood 
casts of ' Hercules,' and ' Two Centaurs ; ' and in another 
part of the hall, the ' Apollo Belvidere.' As soon as the 
academicians found themselves thus established in their 



CH. V.] THE ACADEMY AT SOMERSET HOUSE 157 

new home, they set about the ornamentation of its several 
parts. Thus the library, on the first floor, was enriched 
with a painted ceiling, by Sir Joshua Eeynolds, in which 
4 Theory ' was represented sitting on a cloud, holding a 
scroll containing the words, " Theory is the knowledge of 
what is truly nature." In the coves were emblematical 
pieces by Cipriani, representing * Design,' ' Character,' 
c Commerce,' and ' Plenty.' Over the chimney-piece was 
a bust of the King, by Carlini, and a basso-relievo of 
' Cupid and Psyche,' by Nollekens. The adjoining room 
was the antique academy, full of casts and models. This 
led to the lecture-room, the ceiling of which was painted 
in compartments, the centre containing the ' Graces un- 
veiling Nature,' surrounding which were the ' Four 
Elements,' by Benjamin West. In four small circles were 
contained as many heads of ancient artists, Apelles, Ar- 
chimedes, Apollodorus, and Phidias, by Biaggio Eebecca. 
At each end of the ceiling were four pieces by A. 
Kauffman, representing ' Genius,' ' Design,' ' Composition,' 
and ' Painting.' Two portraits of the King and Queen, by 
Sir Joshua Eeynolds, and a picture of ' Samuel and Eh,' 
by Copley, finished the adornment of this room. The 
exhibition-room was, of course, comparatively plain and 
unornamented. Over the door there was a painting of 
basso-relievo heads of their Majesties, in a medallion, 
supported by ' Design ' and ' Painting ; ' and on the top 
of the door, the motto " Let none but men of taste pre- 
sume to enter," was inscribed, imitated from that of Pytha- 
goras, in Greek. In the corners were four emblematical 
pieces by Catton, ' Geometry,' ' Science,' ' Painting,' and 
1 Sculpture.' The room was lighted by four arched 
windows, and was about GO feet by 50 feet in size. The 
exhibition-room of sculpture and drawings was on the 
ground floor, and was quite plain. On the staircases were 
various figures and busts. On the first landing, a painting 
by Cipriani, in imitation of basso-relievo, the subject 
being the ' Arts and Sciences.' On the staircase, at the 



158 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. V. 

top of the next flight, and fronting the door of the great 
exhibition-room, there was another painting, by the same 
artist, of ' Minerva and the Muses,' also an imitation of 
basso-relievo, in which the deception was said to be so 
great that it was hardly possible to believe that the figures 
were not swelling from the wall. 

Those who were in the habit of visiting the exhibition, 
during the fifty-seven years in which it was held in 
Somerset House, speak of the cool, quiet dignity of the 
council-room as being quite delightful to any one who 
had spent some hours in the busy scene of the exhibition- 
rooms above. Here was the board of green cloth, the 
president's chair, the seats for the academicians, and 
around the chamber were hung the diploma-pictures 1 , 
reminding the spectator of departed genius. This could, 
of course, only refer to a much later period, since at the 
time of the removal of the Academy to its new premises 
only five (Eichard Yeo, Peter Toms, Francis Hayman, 
John Baker, and Francis Cotes) had died among the 
academicians, and five of the associates, viz. Eavenet, 
Chambers, Stevens, Dall, and Mortimer. The appoint- 
ment of librarian, vacant by Hayman's death in 1776, 
had been conferred on Eichard Wilson. 

New members had taken the place of those thus re- 
moved. Since the election of Barry (by whose appoint- 
ment the full number of forty members was completed in 
1773), William Peters, John Singleton Copley, and John 
Bacon had attained the rank of E. A. ; and in addition to 
the associates elected in 1770, there were now ten others, 
Dall, Biaggio Eebecca, Tornkins, Elmer, Edwards, 
Green, Parry, Mortimer, Nixon, and Horace Hone. 

These, with the original members, were sufficient to 
produce an attractive display for the first exhibition in 



1 The practice of requiring each "of the collection, not commenced 

Academician, on receiving his di- till 1770 ; and, therefore, the Aca- 

ploma, to present a specimen of his demy does not possess any work by 

skill to the Royal Academy, was, several of its earliest members, 
unfortunately for the historical value 



CH. V.] THE EXHIBITION OF 1780 159 

the new rooms, which was opened on the 1st of May, 
1780. There was an increase of the works contributed, 
the number being 489 ; the plan of arranging the 
names of the artists alphabetically, and numbering their 
works in rotation under their respective names, was 
abandoned ; and the catalogue then presented the same 
miscellaneous inventory as it does at the present time. 
Sir J. Eeynolds sent this year a portrait of Miss Beauclerc 
as Spencer's " Una," and the heads of Gibbon, the his- 
torian, Lady Beaumont, the son of the Duke of Gloucester, 
and his painting of ' Justice.' Gainsborough was there 
with portraits and landscapes ; West, with several portraits 
of Eoyal personages, classical subjects, and a representation 
of the 'Battle of the Boyne,' and the 'Action at La 
Hogue ; ' D. Serres contributed other naval engagements ; 
De Loutherbourg, some sombre landscapes ; Wilson, some 
scenes of tranquil beauty ; Sandby, some drawings of 
castles and Welsh views ; Stothard, some of his graceful 
designs ; and Cosway, Beechey, Hamilton, and others, 
portraits and miniatures of varied beauty ; besides the 
general collection of pictures which divert the eye from 
more striking works. 

The increased accommodation, and the desire of the 
public to see the new rooms of the Academy, caused a 
great rise in the receipts for admission, which this year 
amounted to 3069 Is., an increase of 1700 over the 
preceding year. The expenses of the exhibition were 
656 16.. 5|c?., the gifts bestowed on needy artists and 
their families amounted to 197 2s., and, for the last 
time, a contribution was made from the privy purse of 
144 18s. tyd. towards the general charges for the 
Academy. From this period it was independent of 
pecuniary aid, and has continued to increase its resources ; 
but it would be ungracious to forget that during the 
first twelve years of its existence it relied, not only for 
patronage and encouragement, but partially for support, 
on the generosity of ite Koyal founder, who, during that 



1GO HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. V. 

period, contributed from his privy purse upwards of 
5000 towards its maintenance. 

In this year (1780) the President painted a portrait of 
Sir William Chambers, the architect of Somerset House, 
and that likeness of himself which contains the bust of 
Michael Angelo, and presented them to the Academy. 
They are among his best works. On the occasion of the 
opening of the schools, on the 16th of October, he 
delivered a short address to the students (Discourse ix.), 
in which, before speaking of the advantages to society 
from cultivating intellectual pleasures, he thus refers to 
the altered position and prospects of the Academy : 

" The honour which the arts acquire by being permitted to 
take possession of this noble habitation, is one of the most con- 
siderable of the many instances we have received of his 
Majesty's protection, and the strongest proof of his desire to 
make the Academy respectable. Nothing has been left undone 
that might contribute to excite our pursuit or to reward our 
attainments. We have already the happiness of seeing the arts 
in a state to which they never before arrived in this nation. 
This building in which we are now assembled will remain to 
many future ages an illustrious specimen of the architect's 
abilities. It is our duty to endeavour that those who gaze with 
wonder at the structure may not be disappointed when they 
visit the apartments. It will be no small addition to the glory 
which this nation has already acquired, from having given birth 
to eminent men in every part of science, if it should be enabled 
to produce, in consequence of this institution, a school of 
English artists." 

In his address at the distribution of prizes to the 
students, on the 10th of December, 1780, he took for his 
subject, "The objects, form, and character of works of 
sculpture," and pointed out the mistakes made by modern 
artists in their efforts to improve on ancient models. 

Successive years of prosperity, extended usefulness, and 
increased popular favour followed on this happy begin- 
ning of the Academy's career at Somerset House. The 
exhibitions were increasingly attractive a large number 



CH. V.] WOLCOTT'S SATIRES ON THE ACADEMY 161 

of works were sent in, and the proceeds were more abun- 
dant year by year ; the gifts and pensions dispensed were 
multiplied ; and the means of instruction for students in 
each branch of art improved. But there were, never- 
theless, trials attending this prosperity, for the Academy 
found itself exposed to virulent attacks from without, in 
the shape of pamphlets and satires. Thus, in 1781, a 
quarto pamphlet was anonymously issued, entitled " The 
Ear- wig : An old Woman's Eemarks on the Exhibition of 
the Eoyal Academy ; " and this was followed by " Lyric 
Odes to the Eoyal Academicians for 1782, by Peter 
Pindar, Esq., a distant relation of the Poet of Thebes, and 
Laureate to the Academy." The latter were the produc- 
tions of Dr. John Wolcott, an unsuccessful physician, who 
early discovered the genius of the Cornish boy, the self- 
taught artist Opie, and afterwards engaged to share in 
the profits of his labours as a painter. The " Odes " took 
the town by surprise, and the justice of some of his re- 
marks, the reckless daring of the personalities, and the 
novelty of the style of them, made these productions ex- 
ceedingly popular. Wolcott was so much encouraged by 
their success, that he returned to the charge in 1783, 
1785, and 1786. Although such malicious abuse, and 
such Licentious personality as were contained in these 
" Odes," could not fail to be galling to the members of 
the Academy ; the very fact of their publication and the 
popular interest in them, prove that the institution against 
which they were directed was looked upon as an im- 
portant one, or they would sooner have lost their hold 
upon the public. When the topic appeared to be ex- 
hausted, their unprincipled author commenced a series of 
biting satires on the King and Pitt, and at a later period he 
received a pension from the latter to vituperate against the 
opponents of his ministry. Other squibs of the same sort 
continued to appear at intervals. Thus, in 1788, appeared 
" The Bee : or the Exhibition exhibited in a new light ; 
or, a complete Catalogue raisonne for 1788;" and in 1797 

VOL. I. M 



162 



HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [Cn. V. 



" The Eoyal Academy ; or, a Touchstone to the present 
Exhibition, by Anthony Touchstone." 1 



1 Although the greater part of 
Wolcott's poetry is far from suitable 
to ears polite, there are passages 
here and there in his " Lyric Odes 
to the Royal Academicians," which 
we may quote without impropriety, 
to show the tone in which me ar- 
tists were dealt with by him. Here 
is the introduction to those for 
1782 : 

" Paint and the men of canvas fire my lays, 
Who show their works for profit and for praise ; 
Whose pockets know most comfortable fillings- 
Gaining two thousand pounds a year by shil- 
lings." 

He thus speaks of Reynolds and 

West : 

" Yet Reynolds, let me fairly say, 

With pride I pour the lyric lay ; 
To most things by thy able hand expressed 

Compared, alas ! to other men, 

Thou art an eagle to a wren ! 
Now, Mrs. Muse, attend on Mr. West. 
" West, I must own, thou dost inherit, 

Some portion of the painting spirit, 
But trust me not extraordinary things 

Some merit thou must surely own, 

By getting up so near the throne, 
And gaining whispers from the best of kings." 

Here are two landscape painters 
contrasted : 

" And Loutherbourg, when Heav'n so wills, 
To make brass skies and golden hills, 

With marble bullocks in glass pastures grazing, 
Thy reputation too will rise, 
And, people gazing with surprise, 

Cry, ' Monsieur Loutherbourg is most amazing.' 
" But honest Wilson, never mind ; 
Immortal praises thou Shalt find, 

And for a dinner have no cause to fear. 
Thou start's! at my prophetic rhymes ; 
Don't be impatient for those times : 

Wait till thou hast been dead a hundred year." 

Ode VII. is in ridicule of Stubbs, 
the animal painter, and the next 
"abuseth Mr. and Mrs. Cosway," 
beginning : 

" Fie, Cosway : I'm ashamed to say, 
Thou own'st the title of R.A." 

Next follows a severe censure on 
copyists, of which the following is a 
specimen : 

" Sir Joshua's happy pencil hath produced 

A host of copyists, much of the same feature ; 
By which the art hath greatly been abused 
I own Sir Joshua great but Nature greater. 
But what, alas ! is ten times worse, 
The progress of the art to curse, 
The copyists have been copied too ; 
And that I'm sure will never do." 

Five other Academicians are dis- 
posed of in the next Ode : 

" Serres and Zoflani I ween, 
I better works than yours have seen. . . . 
Believe me, Barret, thou hast truth and taste, 
Tet sometimes thou art apt to be unchaste. . . . 



" O Catton, our poor feelings spare, 

Suppress thy trash another year : 
Nor of thy folly make us say a hard thing. 

And lo ! those daubs amongst the many, 

Painted by Mr. Kdward Penny 1 
They truly are not worth a half a farthing." 

In Ode XII. Mr. Peters is ad- 
dressed, and also Angelica Kauff- 
nian : 

" Dear Peters, who like Luke the saint, 
A man of Gospel art, and paint. . . . 
Angelica my plaudit gains 
Her art so sweetly canvas stains." 

And in the next the lady visitors 
to the Exhibition are satirised : 

" ' Oh, the dear man,' cried one, ' look, here 's a 

bonnet, 
He shall paint me I am determined on it 

Lord, cousin, see ! how beautiful the gown ! 
What charming colours ; here's fine lace ; here's 

gauze! 

What pretty sprigs the fellow draws ! 
Lord, cousin, he's the cleverest man in town." " 

In the second series, published in 
1783, the same style of ridicule was 
pursued. In Ode II. West is spe- 
cially held up to ridicule. Here are 
specimens : 

" West, if thy picture I am forced to blame, 
I'll say most handsome things about the frame . . . 
They'll make good floorcloth?, tailors' measures, 
For table coverings be treasures ; 
With butchers form for flies most charming 

flappers ; 

And Monday mornings at the tub, 
When queens of suds their linen scrub, 
Make for the blue-nosed nymphs delightful 
wrappers." 

Here are some pretty lines to 
Gainsborough in Ode III., following 
some condemning his portraits, and 
his ' Boys setting Dogs to fight : ' 

" O Gainsborough ! Nature 'plaineth sore, 
That thou hast kicked her out of door ; 
Who in her bounteous gifts hath been so free 
To cull such genius out for thee 
Lo ! all thy efforts without her are vain ; 
Go, find her, kiss her, and be friends again." 

And he thus speaks of Jackson's 
portrait of his protege Opie : 

" Speak, Muse, who fonn'd that matchless head: 
The Cornish boy in tin-mines bred ; 
Whose native genius, like his diamonds shone, 
In secret, till chance gave him to the sun." 

The remaining Odes of this series 
are more desultory, and less per- 
sonal, except against Cosway. Here 
are some remarks on what we should 
now call the " pre-Raffaelite " 
style : 

"If at a distance you would paint a pig, 
Make out each single bristle on his back ; 

Or, if your meaner subject be a wig, 
Let not the caxon a distinctness lack ; 

Else all the lady critics will so stare, 
And, angry, vow ' Tls not a bit like hair.' 



CH. V.] JOHNSON'S LETTERS ON AN EXCLUDED PICTURE 103 

As an instance of the difficulty early experienced in 
meeting the wishes of artists who sent their works for 
exhibition, when no space was available for their admis- 
sion, and of the outcry then made against their exclusion, 
on the assumed ground of unfairness to the disappointed, 
we quote two letters from Dr. Johnson to Sir J. Eeynolds 
and James Barry, soliciting them to use their influence in 
behalf of Mr. Lowe, whose picture of the ' Deluge ' had 
been excluded from the exhibition of 1783. They are 
interesting, both as proceeding from his pen, and as show- 
ing the popularity which the Academy's exhibition had 
obtained among artists of that day : 

" To Sir Joshua Reynolds. 

" SIR, Mr. Lowe considers himself cut off from all credit 
and all hope by the rejection of his picture from the exhibition. 
Upon this work he has exhausted all his powers and suspended 
all his expectations ; and certainly, to be refused an opportunity 
of taking the opinion of the public, is in itself a very great 
hardship. It is, to be condemned without a trial. 

" If you could procure the revocation of this incapacitating 
edict, you would deliver an unhappy man from great affliction. 
The Council has sometimes reversed its own determinations ; 



" ^A 1 " 1 ^ 9 dl f tan<>e8 are to f^tuacA, suggests the ways by which painters 

One floating scene nothing made out . J . J 

For which he ought to be abused, may win popularity, and thus la- 

ments in Ode XIIL the death of 

"Glvcmc the pencil whose amazing- style, -vr TT_-,,. TJ t . 

Make* a bird's beak appear at twenty mile ; " JlOne, IV. .A. . 

' 



In the third series, dated 1786, ^ 1780 he pub i i8hed The Fare . 
the first Ode condemns the works ex- well Od in which he humorou8 | y 
hibited in that year by West, Gams- de8cribe8 ti, e : oy of the artista on 
borough, and Itigaud. The second h ; 8 re8 j gniuo . the laureateship of the 
refers to Barry s attacks on the Pro- Acade my ; describes the annual din- 

ner; again attacks the productions 

" ( %Ki^&^SRR& of W"'! * befc " blddin * the 

Darin* mom cir.-ii.irui war to wage. academicians fiurewelL oomplimenti 

those whom he has not attacked in 
And the third, fourth, and seventh his rhymes : 
satirise Sir W. Chambers, the archi- .. Vp Roy ^ Hlnii Mnn 



i t 

tect of Somerset House. In Several Ix>t m.- lnr,,rm > -<,me dewrvp my nralc; 

. . ,, ,-, 1.1... But triint mo. Kfiiilc S.|iiliv, ycmvlmt few, 

Others ho reviews the Exhibition, and Wkon naino would not disgrace my lay*/ 

M 2 



164 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. V. 

and I hope that, by your interposition, this luckless picture may 
yet be admitted. 

" I am, &c. 

"SAM. JOHNSON." 
12th April, 1783." 

" To James Barry, Esq. 

" SIR, Mr. Lowe's exclusion from the exhibition gives him 
more trouble than you and other gentlemen of the Council 
could imagine or intend. He considers disgrace and ruin as 
the inevitable consequence of your determination. He says 
that some pictures have been received after rejection ; and if 
there be any such precedent, I earnestly entreat that you will 
use your interest in his favour. 

" Of this work I can say nothing. I pretend not to judge of 
painting ; and this picture I never saw : but I consider it ex- 
tremely hard to shut out any man from the possibility of 
success. And therefore I repeat my request, that you will pro- 
pose the reconsideration of Mr. Lowe's case : and if there be 
any among the Council with whom my name can have any 
weight, be pleased to communicate to them the desire of, 

Sir, 
" Your most humble servant, 

"SAM. JOHNSON." 
12th April, 1783." 

, Such intercession, Boswell tells us, was too powerful to 

fybe resisted, and Mr. Lowe's performance was admitted 

' at Somerset House ; but it could only be exhibited in an 

empty room, where the unfavourable judgment of the 

public confirmed, unfortunately for the artist, the wisdom 

of the original decision of the Council for its rejection. 

An internal trouble, greatly to be regretted, occurred 
in the following year, on a point in which the sensitive- 
ness of the artist, then as now, is keenly awakened. 
Gainsborough sent a portrait to the exhibition of 1784, 
with a request that it should be hung " on the line," low 
down, nearly to the floor. The members who were regu- 
lating the hanging of the pictures were either unable, 
consistently with the bye-laws, or unwilling for reasons 



CH.V.] ALDERMAN BOYDELL 165 

which we cannot now learn, to comply with his request, 
and informed him of their decision. He was greatly 
offended, and never sent another picture to the exhibition 
during the few remaining years of his life. 

The year 1789 was memorable in the annals of art, as 
being that in which Boydell's Shakspeare Gallery in Pall 
Mall was opened to the public. A few years previously 
the enterprising Alderman had given commissions to the 
best English artists of the time to paint a series of pic- 
tures in illustration of the works of our great Bard ; and 
the 170 works thus produced were gathered together in 
Pall Mall for exhibition in a gallery built expressly for the 
purpose. Sir Joshua Eeynolds, at the suggestion of 
Edmund Burke, proposed the health of Alderman Boydell 
at the Eoyal Academy dinner of 1789, as "the Com- 
mercial Ma3cenas of England," and the Prince of Wales 
and the whole company joined heartily in the toast. The 
collection of pictures thus formed was afterwards (in 
1805) disposed of by lottery, when this great patron of 
British art found that his means had been impoverished 
by the long career of earnest enterprise by which he had 
freed the artists of England from foreign rivalry on their 
own soil, and spent 350,000 in his efforts. The plates 
he published, as well as his own engravings, testify to the 
large amount of employment which he provided for the 
artists and engravers of his day. 

It had been the practice of the artists to meet annually 
to dine together to celebrate the birthday of the Royal 
Founder of the Academy, on the 4th of June. In 1789, 
it was celebrated with additional thankfulness and loyalty, 
for it was in March of that year that the Te Deum had been 
sung at St. Paul's, after the King's recovery from the attack 
with which he was visited in the preceding year. The dinner 
was held at the Crown and Anchor Tavern, in the Strand. 
The company numbered about four hundred guests, who 
were disposed round four tables one for the Royal Aca- 
demicians, the others for the rest of the guests. A similar 



166 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [Cn. V. 

gathering of artists was made on the Queen's birthday, 
and at that time the expense of both, amounting to 112, 
was paid for by the Academy ; but after 1809, those who 
attended them were required to pay for their tickets. 

Another controversy, still more painful, and more for- 
midable to the Academy in its threatened results than the 
one previously referred to, arose out of the division of 
opinion as to the election of Bonomi, the Italian architect, 
for whom the President, at the persuasion of the Earl of 
Aylesford, sought to obtain the appointment of Professor 
of Perspective, which had remained vacant 1 after the 
death of Samuel Wale, in 1786. But before he could be 
eligible for the office it was necessary that he should be 
elected a Eoyal Academician. In 1789, a vacancy among 
the associates occurred, and Bonomi offered himself as a 
candidate for it. The number of votes was equal for 
him and Gilpin, an artist of some reputation but 
Eeynolds gave his casting vote for Bonomi, who was ac- 
cordingly elected. In the following year a vacancy 
among the academicians occurred, when Fuseli, an asso- 
ciate two years before, and already eminent in his profes- 
sion, entered his name as a candidate, and personally 
solicited the President's vote in his favour. He was 
courteously told that on another vacancy he should have 
his support, but that on that occasion he thought it " not 
only expedient, but highly necessary for the good of the 
Academy that Mr. Bonomi should be elected." Doubtless, 
the President felt what he said, and convinced his own 
mind of his reasons for thus determining ; but his opinion 
was not shared by a majority of his brethren in the 
Academy ; and when, on the evening of election, some 
drawings by Bonomi were exhibited for their inspection, 
by which a rule was transgressed, and no similar oppor- 



1 Speaking of the chairs of the should be ever left unfilled. A ne- 

professors, in his last discourse, Rey- gleet to provide for qualified persons, 

nolds observed : " I look upon it to is to produce a neglect of qualifica- 

be of importance that none of them tions. 



CH. V.] RESIGNATION OF SIR J. REYNOLDS 167 

tunity was given to Fuseli the impression gained ground 
that the President was unduly exerting himself in favour 
of one whose merits were not equal to his competitor ; and 
this feeling was unmistakeably manifested by the election 
of Fuseli by a majority of two to one over Bonomi, for 
whom nine votes were given, and twenty-one for Fuseli. 

When the result was known, the President quitted the 
chair, and it was evident, that for once in his lifetime he 
was deeply offended, and lost that calm self-possession for 
which he was celebrated. Thirteen days afterwards he 
wrote a letter (dated Leicester Fields, 22nd Feb. 1790) 
to the Secretary of the Eoyal Academy, in these words : 
" Sir, I beg you will inform the Council, which I under- 
stand meet this evening, with my fixed resolution of 
resigning the presidency of the Koyal Academy, and 
consequently my seat as an Academician. As I can no 
longer be of any service to the Academy as President, it 
would be still less in my power in a subordinate situation. 
I therefore now take my final leave of the Academy, with 
my sincere good wishes for its prosperity, and with all 
due respect for its members :" adding, " Sir W. Chambers 
has two letters of mine, either or both of which he has a 
full liberty to communicate to the Council," if they wished 
any further explanation of his motives for the course he 
had taken. 

That such a trifling circumstance should have es- 
tranged one so eminent in his art, and so revered by his 
brethren, would indeed have been a disaster to the rising 
Academy, and it is greatly to the credit of the Council that 
they immediately took measures for bringing about a re- 
conciliation between them and the President. Before the 
above letter reached the Council, Reynolds had made 
known his intention of severing his connexion with the 
Academy to Sir William Chambers, who informed the 
King of what had occurred, and received directions to 
express his Majesty's regret at the decision, and the plea- 
sure it would afford him if Sir Joshua would resume the 



168 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [Cn. V. 

presidential chair. Even the Eoyal favour did not dispose 
him to alter his decision but when at length a deputa- 
tion, consisting of his oldest Mends in the Academy, viz. : 
Benjamin West, Thomas Sandby, Copley, Bacon, Catton, 
Cosway, Farington, and the Secretary, waited upon him at 
his house, to beg that he would reconsider his determina- 
tion, their persuasive and kindly friendship prevailed, and 
the same evening he resumed his place among them. 1 

It was well that the misunderstanding was thus satis- 
factorily terminated, for the President's career was well- 
nigh at its close ; and it was on the 10th of December of 
the same year, 1790, that he delivered his last discourse 
to the students from the presidential chair. 2 Since the 
address on their first assembly at Somerset House, he 
had spoken to them, in 1782, of the genius of the artist : 
again in 1784, concerning the method of regulating their 
studies : two years afterwards, as to the place which imi- 
tation should occupy in regard to art : in 1788, his 
discourse was on the excellences and defects of Gains- 
borough, then recently deceased, " one of the greatest 
ornaments of our Academy" - and, in his last discourse, 
he thus generously referred to the recent controversy : 

" Among men united in the same body, and engaged in the 
same pursuits, along with permanent friendship, occasional dif- 
ferences will arise. In these disputes men are naturally too 
favourable to themselves, and think, perhaps, too hardly of their 



1 Peter Pindar reminded the aca- mence, a beam in the floor gave way 
demicians of this controversy in his with a loud crash. The room was 
odes " On the Rights of Kings : " crowded ; for, besides the members 
"YOU quarrelled with sir Joshua some time since, and students, there were a number 

Of painters easily allowed the prince n f viaitn-q n f rnT ilr and pminpiifp 
The emperor, let me say, without a flattery : 

Yet, wantonly, against this emperor, lo i present. The audience rushed to 

An overflowing tub of bile to show, zi j ii j e ii 

You foolish planted an Infernal battery tile d.00r, Or to the Sides 01 tne room, 

" Ah ! could you wish your President to change ? and great confusion and alarm pre- 

Ah! could you, Pagans, after false gods range? -\ A cr T l, 1, * 

swop solid Reynolds for that shadow west ? vailed. hir Joshua, however, sat 

in love affairs variety 's no sin- silent and unmoved in his chair, and 

Travellers may change at any time their inn in i i > i , 

Here, 'tis painM>lasphemy I do protest." as the tlOOr Only Sank a little, it WOS 

2 A circumstance attended the soon supported, and the company 
delivery of this discourse which resumed their seats, and he corn- 
threatened a serious disaster. Just menced his discourse with perfect 
as the President was about to com- composure. 



CH. V.I REYNOLDS'S LAST DISCOURSE 169 

antagonists. But composed and constituted as we are, these 
little contentions will be lost to others, and they ought certainly 
to be lost amongst ourselves, in mutual esteem for talents and 
acquirements. Every controversy ought to be, and I am per- 
suaded will be, sunk in our zeal for the perfection of our 
common art. In parting with the Academy, I shall remember 
with pride, affection and gratitude, the support with which I 
have almost uniformly been honoured from the commencement 
of our intercourse. I shall leave you, gentlemen, with un- 
affected cordial wishes for your future concord, and with a well- 
founded hope that in that concord the auspicious and not 
obscure origin of our Academy may be forgotten in the splendour 
of your succeeding prospects." 

Eeviewing the Academy as a school of art, tlie President 
thus spoke of his own labours, and the design of his 
discourses : 

" We may safely congratulate ourselves on our good fortune 
in having hitherto seen the chairs of our professors filled with 
men of distinguished abilities, and who have so well acquitted 
themselves of their duty in their several departments. ... In 
this honourable rank of professors I have not presumed to class 
myself: though in the discourses which I have had the honour 
of delivering from this place, while in one respect I may be 
considered as a volunteer, in another view it seems as if I was 
involuntarily pressed into this service. If prizes were to be 
given, it appeared not only proper, but almost indispensably 
necessary, that something should be said by the President on 
the delivery of those prizes; and the President, for his own 
credit, would wish to say something more than mere words of 
compliment, which, by being frequently repeated, would soon 
become flat and uninteresting, and, by being uttered to many, 
would at last become a distinction to none. I thought, there- 
fore, if I were to preface this compliment with some instructive 
observations on the Art, when we crowned merit in the artist 
whom we rewarded, I might do something to animate and 
guide them in their future attempts." 

A presentiment that the close of his career was at 
hand, led him to add, " My age, and my infirmities still 
more than my age, make it probable that this will be the 



170 . HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [Cn. V. 

last time I shall have the honour of addressing you from 
this place ; " and, finally recommending the study of the 
works of his favourite master, he concluded by saying: 

"I reflect, not without vanity, that these discourses bear 
testimony of my admiration of that truly divine man ; and I 
should desire that the last words which I should pronounce in 
this Academy, and from this place, might be the name of 
MICHAEL ANGELO."' 

When he had concluded his discourse, Burke, who was 
among the crowd of illustrious persons assembled to hear 
him, stepped forward, as Eeynolds descended the reading- 
desk, and taking his hand, said : 

" The Angel ended ; and in Adam's ear 
So charming left his voice, that he a while 
Thought him still speaking, still stood fixt to hear." 

The President's last wish was, unhappily for the cause 
of art, literally fulfilled, for his voice was never again 
heard in the Academy, after pronouncing the name of his 
great predecessor in art. In the following year a malady 
long existing in his frame, manifested most painful 
symptoms, and he again solicited to be allowed to resign 
his position in the Academy, but was urged to retain it 



1 When these discourses -were large picture. In both productions 

published, Dr. Johnson expressed one may trace a most elevated genius, 

his great satisfaction at their ap- I recommend you to give my thanks 

pearance, and since his time until to Sir Joshua, and to remit him the 

the present day, they have retained box I send as a testimony of the 

their popularity. They are con- great satisfaction the perusal of his 

stantly presented as prizes to stu- discourses has given me, and which 

dents in art at the Royal Academy I look upon as perhaps the best 

and elsewhere. When Reynolds work that ever was written on the 

sent a copy of them, with his pic- subject." The box was a gold one, 

ture of ' Hercules,' which he painted with a basso-relievo of her Imperial 

for the Empress Catherine of Russia, Majesty in the lid set with dia- 

she wrote to her ambassador in Lon- monds, enclosing a note written 

don, saying : " I have read, and I with her own hands, as follows : 

may say, with the greatest avidity, " Pour la Chevalier Reynolds, en 

those discourses pronounced at the temoignage du contentement que j 'ai 

Royal Academy of London by Sir ressenti a la lecture de ses excellens 

Joshua Reynolds, which that illus- discours sur la peinture." 
trious artist sent to me with his 



OH. \.] INFLUENCE OF REYNOLDS 171 

for the -sake of his brother artists, a deputy being ap- 
pointed to perform his duties. This was only for a short 
time, however, for his death took place on the 23rd of 
February, 1792. All possible honour was paid to his 
memory. His body laid in state in the great room of the 
Academy at Somerset House, and was followed to its 
final resting-place in St. Paul's Cathedral, not only by all 
the members of the Academy, but by many noblemen and 
gentlemen who desired thus to testify their respect for his 
genius. Among them, a conspicuous figure was that of 
his most valued and beloved friend, Edmund Burke, on 
whose countenance was depicted the deep grief he felt on 
the occasion. Such a scene was calculated to make a 
striking impression on the students who formed part of 
the procession, and Sir M. A. Shee (who attended in that 
capacity) afterwards spoke of it as a stimulus to young 
artists, to see such a tribute paid to departed genius, and 
to witness the high social position by which its efforts had 
been rewarded in the case of the deceased President. 

That Sir Joshua Eeynolds did much, by his personal 
character and disposition, no less than by his ability as an 
artist and a teacher of its principles, to advance the 
dignity of the institution over which he presided, cannot 
be doubted ; and the English School owes, if not its 
foundation, at least its primary development to his 
eminent skill and the irresistible charm of everything that 
proceeded from his hand. It is true, indeed, that he 
never attained to eminence as a historical painter, or as 
an imitator of the grand style of the ancient masters ; but 
by following portraiture chiefly, he not only met the ex- 
isting demand for art, but applied it to those objects which 
would most surely tend to its future improvement and 
extension. Portraits were from the first the most abun- 
dant class of pictures in the exhibitions, and will always 
be so, because of the personal interest which the owners 
of such pictures possess in representations of that nature. 
Had Sir Joshua Eeynolds not opened the way to make 



172 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. V. 

such subjects really works of art, they would have been 
still abundant, but the taste for what is really beautiful in 
art would not have been improved as it has been by the 
wide dissemination of well-painted portraits. Dr. Johnson 
truthfully expressed the value of such works when he said : 

"I should grieve to see Eeynolds transfer to heroes and 
goddesses to empty splendour and to airy fiction that art 
which is now employed in diffusing friendship, in renewing 
tenderness, in quickening the affections of the absent, and con- 
tinuing the presence of the dead. . . . This use of the art is a 
natural and reasonable consequence of affection ; and though, 
like all human actions, it is often complicated with pride, yet 
even such pride is more laudable than that by which palaces are 
covered with pictures that, however excellent, neither imply the 
owner's virtue nor excite it." 

Walpole went further, and said that 

" Portraiture is the only true historical painting. Its uses 
are manifest, it administers to the affections ; it preserves to 
the world the features of those who, for their services, have 
deserved the gratitude of mankind, and of those who have been 
in any way remarkable for their own actions, or through their 
position in society ; and in a simply historical point of view, it 
illustrates the costumes and habits of past ages." 

Death had serried the ranks of the Eoyal Academicians 
of more than half their original number at the period of 
its history at which we have now arrived. Besides the 
five already named as having died before the removal 
to new Somerset House, thirteen others of the original 
members had preceded the President to the grave. 
Eichard Wilson died in 1782 ; G. M. Moser, the Keeper, 
in 1783 ; Barret and Nathaniel Hone in the follow- 
ing year; Cipriani in 1785 ; John Gwynn the architect, 
and Samuel Wale, the Professor of Perspective and 
Librarian, in the next year ; Mason Chamberlin in 1787 ; 
Gainsborough the next year ; J. Meyer and Zuccarelli in 
1789 ; Carlini, the Keeper, in 1790 ; and E. Penny, the 



CH. V.] NEW APPOINTMENTS 173 

Professor of Painting, in 1791. To these must be added 
the names of the associates, P. C. Canot and Thomas 
Chambers, engravers, and William Pars and William 
Parry, the painters, who died within the same period. 

Between the year 1780 and that in which Eeynolds 
died, sixteen new Eoyal Academicians were elected, of 
whom an account will be given in the next chapter ; 
and we shall notice in the following one the associate- 
engravers elected during his presidentship, and also such 
of the new associates as were not subsequently elected 
Eoyal Academicians. 

Several changes had also taken place among the officers 
of the Academy. F. M. Newton resigned the office of 
Secretary in 1788, and was succeeded by John Eichards. 
The office of Librarian had been successively filled by 
Hayman, Wilson, Wale, and Wilton ; and that of Keeper 
by Moser, Carlini, and Wilton. Among the Professors, 
E. Penny had been succeeded by James Barry as 
Professor of Painting ; Samuel Wale by Edward Edwards, 
as Professor of Perspective ; and Dr. William Hunter, 
the Professor of Anatomy, had been succeeded by John 
Sheldon in 1783. Among the Honorary Members, 
the Eev. Wm. Peters, formerly an Academician, had 
been Honorary Chaplain from 1784 to 1788, and was suc- 
ceeded by the Bishop of Killaloe. Oliver Goldsmith, the 
first Professor of Ancient History, had been replaced suc- 
cessively by the Eev. Dr. Francklin and Edward Gibbon. 
On Dr. Johnson's death in 1787 1 , his friend Bennet 



1 A proposal was made that the to the memory of great artists re- 
Koyal Academy should contribute cently deceased, especially as the 
100 towards the monument erected funds were ordered, by the Royal man- 
to the memory of Dr. Johnson in date, to be only applied to the pur- 
St. Paul's ; but in November, 1701, poses specified in the Instrument of 
Sir W. Chambers (the treasurer), Institution. The proposal was carried, 
and other members of the Academy, but the money was not paid, for 
objected to the grant of any of its when the intended subscription was 
limited funds to the purpose of a submitted to the king for approval, 
memorial of such general importance, it was not continued by his Majesty, 
while no mark of honour was puid 



174 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [Cn. V. 

Langton filled the office of Professor of Ancient Lite- 
rature ; and James Boswell had succeeded Baretti as 
Secretary for Foreign Correspondence ; while Eichard 
Dalton filled the office of Antiquary from 1770 to 1784, 
after which it remained vacant for several years. 

One travelling student, Charles Grignion, the painter, 
was sent abroad in 1781 ; in 1785, John Deare, and 
Charles Eossi, the sculptors, were selected for the same 
privilege ; and in 1790, an architect, George Hadfield, 
was chosen from the gold medal students. In the last- 
named year the Eoyal Academy increased the allowance 
of 60 a year granted for three years to travelling 
students to 100 a year. 

In the exhibitions of the Eoyal Academy after the 
removal to Somerset House, a large and continued increase 
in the number of contributions took place. These, which 
were 489 in 1780, rose gradually till they numbered 780 
in 1792, the year in which Eeynolds died. The year 
of its removal to Somerset House, was the beginning of 
the financial independence of the Academy, its receipts 
being more than sufficient to meet its expenses, irrespec- 
tive of the Eoyal aid, which was discontinued in con- 
sequence after 1780. The receipts, which were 2178 1 2s. 
in 1781, rose to 2954 in 1792, and the annual expen- 
diture left a large balance in favour of the Academy. Of 
the style and appearance of these interesting displays of 
the abilities of the artists of the period, we may readily 
form some notion 1 , when it is remembered that the 
prominent places in the exhibitions would be occupied 
with pictures by Eeynolds, Lawrence, West, and Opie, 
with the graceful designs of Bartolozzi, the bold concep- 
tions of Fuseli, the pleasing pictures of Hamilton, Hodges, 
Humphreys, Smirke, Stothard, Tresham, and Wheatley, 



1 Two prints published at the were views of the exhibition of 

period will also assist in forming an 1787, and the Royal family visiting 

idea of the general appearance of the exhibition of 1788 by Ramberg, 

the exhibition in those days. They engraved by P. A. Martini. 



CH. V.] THE EXHIBITIONS 175 

the landscapes of De Loutherbourg, Series, Paul Sandby, 
and others, and the sculptured works of Banks, Nollekens, 
and Northcote. Others, younger in years and reputation, 
were rising into notice ; and as the fathers of the Academy 
were one by one removed, a new generation of artists was 
preparing to take their place, and to maintain the repu- 
tation of the newly founded English School of Art. 



176 



CHAPTEE VI. 

ROYAL ACADEMICIANS ELECTED DURING THE PRESIDENCY OF 
SIR J. REYNOLDS. 

Painters: ZOFFANY, HOAKE, COSWAT, BARRY, PETERS, COPLEY, DE LOTT- 
THERBOT7RG, GARVEY, RlGATTD, FARLNGTON, OPIE, NORTHCOTE, HODGES, 
RUSSELL, HAMILTON, FUSELI, WEBBER, WHEATLEY, AND HTJMPHREYS. 

Scttlptors: BURCH, NOLLEKENS, BACON, and BANKS. 

Architects : J. WYATT, AND J. YENN. 

mWENTY-FIVE new members were added to the 
J- number of Eoyal Academicians during the period of 
Sir Joshua Eeynolds's presidentship. Two of these (viz. 
John ZofFany and William Hoare, painters), were ap- 
pointed in 1769, on the nomination of King George III., 
in the same manner as the original thirty-four members ; 
all subsequent appointments were made by the ballot 
of the members. Three were so elected in 1771-2, viz. 
Eichard Cosway, painter, Edward Burch and Joseph 
ISTollekens (sculptors), from among the newly-created asso- 
ciates ; and in 1773, James Barry, the painter, was elected, 
thus completing the full number of Eoyal Academicians, 
which has ever since been kept complete. The subse- 
quent elections were made in the order of time as follows : 
-in 17 77, William Peters (painter); in 1778, John 
Bacon (sculptor) ; in 1779, J. S. Copley (painter); in 1781, 
P. J. de Loutherbourg (painter); in 1783, Edward 
Garvey (painter) ; in 1784, J. F. Eigaud (painter) ; in 
1785, Thomas Banks (sculptor) ; James Wyatt (ar- 
chitect), and Joseph Farington (painter) ; in 1787, 
John Opie, James Northcote, and William Hodges 
(painters) ; in 1788, John Eussell (painter) ; in 1789, 



CH. VI.] JOHN ZOFFANY 177 

William Hamilton (painter) ; in 1790, Henry Fuseli 
(painter) ; and in 1791, John Yenn (architect), J. Webber, 
F. Wheatley, and 0. Humphreys (painters). 

Of these new Eoyal Academicians, nineteen were 
painters, four sculptors, and two architects. We pro- 
ceed first to notice the painters, in the order of their 
appointment to full academic honours. 

JOIIANN ZOFFANIJ, or Zoffany, E.A., was by descent a 
Bohemian, but his father, who was an architect, had settled 
in Germany when he was born. According to Fiorillo, 
John was born at Frankfort-on-the-Maine, in 1735, but 
Zani says he was born two years previously at Regens- 
burg in Bavaria. He was early sent by his father to 
Italy, where he studied for several years. After his re- 
turn to Germany, he practised both as a historical and 
portrait painter at Coblentz, and a few years before the 
foundation of the Eoyal Academy he came to reside in 
London, at first in the north-east wing of Covent Garden 
Piazza, and afterwards at No. 9 Denmark Street. For 
some time he met with so little encouragement that he 
was reduced to great distress ; and but for the patronage 
of Sir Joshua Reynolds and David Garrick, would have 
found it impossible to obtain the reputation he subse- 
quently acquired, first by a portrait of the Earl of 
Barrymore, and afterwards by those of celebrated dramatic 
performers in their favourite characters, which were de- 
signed and painted with surprising truth of expression. He 
painted Garrick as 'Sir John Bute,' and as 'Abel Druggers ' 
in the " Alchymist," and in the " Farmer's Return : " also 
portraits of Foote, as Sturgeon in the "Mayor of Garret," 
and Weston and Foote in " Dr. Last." All of these became 
very popular by the engravings made from them by 
Dixon, Finlayson, and Haid. In 1771 he painted a large 
picture containing ten portraits of the Royal family, 
which was engraved by Earluin ; and three years after- 
wards a picture containing thirty-six portraits of the 

VOL. I. N 



178 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. VI. 

Academicians assembled in the life school, which was also 
engraved. 

Having expressed a desire to revisit Italy, the King 
was pleased to interest himself so far on the occasion as 
to give him a recommendation to the Grand Duke of 
Tuscany. While he was at Florence he painted a picture 
of the interior of the gallery there, which was purchased 
by George in. In 1781 he went to India, and lived 
for some years at Lucknow, where he acquired a com- 
petent fortune by the exercise of his art. Three of his 
best pictures, engraved by Earlom, were painted there 
one of these, ' the Embassy of Hyderbeck to Calcutta,' 
contained a hundred figures, besides elephants and horses ; 
another was, ' an Indian Tiger Hunt ; ' and the third, ' a 
Cock Fight,' at which there are many spectators. He 
returned to London about 1796 ; but although he con- 
tinued to paint after his return from India, it was evident 
that his powers as well as his health were weakened ; for 
his latest productions lack the spirit and vigour of his 
earlier works. He died at KCW-, on the 16th December, 
1810. 

WILLIAM HOAEE, E.A., the last artist nominated by the 
King to the rank of Eoyal Academician, was a historical 
and portrait painter, born at Eye, in Suffolk, in 1706. 
His education was commenced under Grisoni, an Italian 
painter residing in London. He subsequently went to 
Borne, where he studied for nine years under Francisco 
Fernandi, called D'Imperiali, and was a fellow-pupil of 
Ponipeo Battoni. He came back to England, bringing 
with him many copies and studies of the works of the 
great masters, and established himself at Bath, where he 
acquired a great reputation as a portrait painter in oils 
and crayons. His taste was rather to follow historical 
painting ; but he found little encouragement in that 
branch of art. There is, however, an altar-piece by him 
in St. Michael's Church, at Bath, of ' Christ bearing the 



CH. ^ 7 I] HOARE COSWAY 179 

Cross,' and another in the Octagon Chapel, of the ' Lame 
Man healed at the Pool of Bethesda.' He was a constant 
contributor to the exhibition of the Eoyal Academy. 
His son, Prince Hoare, both a painter and an art-critic, 
was for many years the Foreign Corresponding Secretary 
of the Academy, and the author of " An Inquiry into 
the requisite Cultivation and present State of the Arts of 
Design in England," " Academic Annals," and many dra- 
matic pieces. William Hoare died at Bath in 1792. 

EICIIAKD COSWAY, E.A., was born in 1741, at Tiverton, 
in Devonshire (the native county of Eeynolds), where his 
family had long been settled, and where his father held 
the appointment of Master of the Public School. His 
uncle, the mayor of Tiverton, placed him with Hudson, 
under whom Eeynolds also studied ; and he subsequently 
attended Shipley's drawing school in the Strand, where 
he made rapid progress, and soon displayed the genius 
for which, especially as a miniature painter, he afterwards 
became celebrated. At the age of fourteen he gained 
the Society of Arts' premium of five pounds ; and in the 
course of the next ten years he had obtained four more 
premiums from the same society. Subsequently, in the 
Duke of Eichmond's sculpture gallery, he acquired great 
skill in copying the fine flowing outline of the Grecian 
statue, and won the praises of Bartolozzi and Cipriani, 
and soon took a high position among the artists of the 
day. 

He was a student of the Eoyal Academy in 17G9, an 
associate in 1770, and a Eoyal Academician in 1771, and 
painted several fancy pictures, pertaining more to poetry 
than to portraiture, for its exhibitions. Among these were 
4 Einaldo and Armida,' 4 Cupid,' ' St. John,' ' Venus and 
Cupid,' ' Madonna and Child,' and ' Psyche,' all of which 
in reality were portraits of some of his titled patrons, 
good likenesses, and successful works. He sometimes 
painted in oil, and in this style showed his predilection 

K 2 



180 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. VI. 

for the manner of Correggio ; but his chief excellence 
was in miniature painting, both in oil and water colour, 
for which he had an exquisite taste, and bade defiance 
to any attempts at rivalry. Sir Joshua Eeynolds spoke 
highly of his talents, and recommended him very warmly 
to his own sitters. The patronage of the Prince of 
Wales, for whom he painted a miniature of Mrs. Fitz- 
herbert, which gave great satisfaction, alone proved of 
great value to him, and supplied him with continual em- 
ployment either at Carlton House, or in the gay world of 
which the Prince was then the leader. People of the 
highest rank eulogised and courted Cosway, and he 
quickly became, without a question, the fashionable 
miniature painter of his day. All his portraits are 
characterised by exquisite grace, neatness and finish, and 
were drawn with great freedom and skill. But as in the 
engravings of Bartolozzi, the artist had a preconceived 
ideal of beauty in his own mind, influenced by which the 
resemblance to the original was frequently lost ; so in the 
desire to produce a pleasing picture, Cosway sometimes 
sacrificed the value of the portrait as a likeness. To this 
failing, may probably be attributed the circumstance that 
Cosway is said to have painted more lovers' presentation 
pictures than any ten artists of his time. He excelled 
most of all in the small whole-length figures he drew of 
certain ladies of fashion, celebrated for their beauty. 
The figures were drawn in a loose, unconstrained style, 
purely his own, with the blacklead pencil ; the faces were 
painted in miniature, and frequently highly finished. 
They are captivating specimens of his peculiar style, and 
many of them, as well as of his other works, were en- 
graved by Bartolozzi, V. Green, and others. When 
painting miniatures, it was Cosway 's custom to have a 
small panel with an oval opening cut in the centre, of 
the exact size of the frame to enclose the picture, fixed 
to a stand which was placed at his elbow : moving this 
occasionally at a chosen distance, he looked through the 



CH. VI.] RICHARD COSWAY 181 

aperture at his sitter, and compared it with his picture as 
he proceeded. By this means, he said that he acquired the 
habit of comparing nature with his work, and that his mind 
became so abstracted in the study as not to distinguish a 
difference between the original and his imitation of it. 

Shortly after his election as a Royal Academician, he 
married Maria Hadfield, who, though of English parent- 
age, was a native of Leghorn, where her father kept an 
hotel much frequented by English travellers. After her 
marriage, she also became known as an exhibitor at the 
Eoyal Academy, and painted many portraits and other 
works of a poetic and imaginative nature ; but her hus- 
band would never allow her to paint portraits profes- 
sionally. When he found himself high in Court favour, 
at the suggestion of his wife, he removed from Berkeley 
Street to Pall Mall (in the middle portion of the large 
house built for the Duke of Schomberg, recently incor- 
porated with the War Office), where for some years, and 
afterwards at a splendid mansion in Stratford Place, 
Oxford Street, the musical parties given by Mrs. Cosway 
(and at which she was the principal performer), were 
among the chief attractions of the fashionable world. 
The carriages of the Prince of Wales and other persons 
of distinction were constantly to be seen at Cosway's 
house, which became the morning lounge of the aris- 
tocracy. Nor was it without its artistic attractions for 
besides being superbly furnished in the olden style, it 
contained a vast collection of pictures by the ancient 
masters, old armour, and various curiosities : and the 
studio of Cosway was a museum full of rich specimens of 
all that is choice in the pursuits of vertu. 

Late in life (and he lived to a great age) he considered 
it a favour to paint a miniature; and it can scarcely 
be wondered at that he fell into the folly of vanity, 
when we think of his remarkable success in life, and the 
popularity he had attained. Yet the satires suggested 
by envy, and his own restless sensitive spirit, hindered 



182 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. VI. 

him from being really happy. Added to this, he passed 
several of his last years in pain both of body and mind. 
A paralytic stroke disabled his right hand, and thus cut 
off from him the power of drawing, and his only conso- 
lation was in the tender solicitude of his wife. It was 
painful to his friends and admirers, with whom his well- 
stored mind and natural turn for humour led him to be 
regarded as a most pleasant companion, to behold also a 
weakness of intellect, which led him to indulge in many 
extravagant fancies and delusions in his latter days. 
Shortly before his death, he dispersed his collection of 
pictures and curiosities, and removed from Stratford Place 
to Edgware Eoad, where he died on the 4th July, 1821, 
in his 80th year. He was buried at the New Church of 
St. Marylebone, where a tablet is erected to his memory. 
His widow retired to Lodi, where she had formerly spent 
some years, and established a ladies' college. She died 
there, widely respected, several years afterwards. 

JAMES BAKEY'S name must still find a place among the 
members of the Eoyal Academy, notwithstanding the 
painful circumstances which led to his expulsion from their 
Society. He was born on the llth of October, 1741, at 
Cork, where his father, John Barry (a descendant of the 
same family as the Earls of Barrymore), was a coasting 
trader, for which profession he also was intended ; but 
after making two or three voyages with disgust, and 
having exhibited considerable talent in drawing, he was 
permitted to follow his inclinations, and to obtain such 
education in art as the schools of Cork afforded. He 
afterwards received instruction in the school at Dublin, 
kept by Mr. West a teacher who had studied under 
Vanloo and Boucher, and who was reckoned a very able 
draughtsman of the human figure. As early as the age 
of seventeen Barry attempted painting in oil, and before 
he was twenty-two he painted a historical picture which 
first brought him into notice as an artist. This was a 



CH. VI.] JAMES BAERY 183 

representation of St. Patrick on the shore of Cashel, who 
in baptizing the sovereign of the district had planted the 
sharp end of his crozier through the foot of the monarch, 
unperceived by himself, and unresented by his convert. 
This work, exhibited at the Society of Arts in Dublin, 
led to his introduction to Edmund Burke, who discerned 
in it such evidence of genius as induced him shortly 
afterwards to take the artist with him to England, where 
he gave him ah 1 the advantages of his patronage. Here 
he was introduced to Barret, his countryman, who was 
then acquiring fame and honours as a landscape painter 
in London. 

In 1766, under the protection and with the assistance 
of Burke, Barry went to Italy, first stopping at Paris to 
examine the productions of Le Soeur, Poussin and 
Eaffaelle, in the Luxembourg. Shortly after his arrival 
in Eome, Barry's irritable temper, which afterwards 
proved of so much annoyance to himself and others, in- 
volved him in a series of disputes with the artists and 
virtuosi in that city, which being reported to Burke, 
called forth a letter of admonition from his patron. In 
Eome he adopted a singular mode of study : he drew 
from the antique by means of a patent delineator, not 
aiming to make academic drawings, but a sort of diagram, 
in which a scale of proportion was observed, to which 
he might at all times refer as a guide and authority. In 
the latter part of the year 1770 he returned to London, 
visiting Florence, Turin, Bologna, &c. On his way to 
the latter city he was made a member of the Clementine 
Academy there. 

In 1771 he exhibited his first picture at the Eoyal 
Academy, which he began shortly after his arrival at 
Eome, the subject being ' Adam and Eve ; ' and the 
next year he produced his much-admired whole-length 
picture of * Venus rising from the Sea.' He became 
an Associate in 1772 and E.A. in 1773. The works 
by which he attained these honours were followed by 



184 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. VI. 

another, ' Jupiter and Juno,' his first attempt at the 
grand style of art. About this time ' The Death of 
General Wolfe,' was a popular subject with the artists 
of the day, and had been represented by West, Penny, 
Komney, Mortimer, and others. In 1776 Barry also 
chose the same subject, but his picture was generally 
condemned, for (probably to display his knowledge of 
the human form) he represented all the figures nude; 
and, angry at not being flattered for his skill, he never 
afterwards exhibited at the Academy. Up to this time 
he lived in Suffolk Street, Haymarket. 

We have already mentioned the part taken by Barry 
in the offer made by the Eoyal Academy, to paint gra- 
tuitously a series of pictures for St. Paul's ; and also the 
subsequent rejection by the members of the Academy of 
the proposal of the Society of Arts, that their new room 
should be decorated with paintings by them. Barry 
was greatly mortified at this, for he was eager to exhibit 
his talents, and to refute publicly the unjust opinions of 
English artists, which he found to prevail on the Con- 
tinent. Winckelmann and Du Bos had asserted that the 
English were incapable of excellence in any of the higher 
walks of art ; and Barry attaching more importance than 
was due to such sweeping conclusions, undertook formally 
to refute them. 

With this object he published in 1775 " An Inquiry 
into the real and imaginary Obstructions to the Acquisi- 
tion of the Arts in England," and offered the Society of 
Arts to paint a series of pictures for their great room, 
on the condition that the Society provided him with 
canvas, colours, and models proper to carry it into 
execution. His offer was accepted, and his grand work 
now enriches the Society's room in the Adelphi. The 
series consists of six pictures, namely, ' Orpheus reciting 
his verses to the wild inhabitants of Thrace,' ' A Grecian 
Ilarvest Home,' ' The Victors at Olympia,' ' The 
triumph of the Thames,' ' The Society distributing their 



CH. VI.] JAMES BARRY 185 

Prizes,' and ' Final Eetribution.' These pictures, de- 
signed to illustrate the position that the happiness of 
mankind is promoted in proportion to the cultivation 
of knowledge, appear somewhat dissimilar and hetero- 
geneous, yet each is brought to bear on the general sub- 
ject with wonderful force and unity, and in regarding 
them we are impressed with the conviction that such a 
work could neither have been conceived nor executed 
except by a mind of the highest order. Some inac- 
curacies of drawing and defects of colour are to be 
met with in Barry's work, but on the whole it is not 
only a splendid example of pictorial skill, but embodies 
whatever impressions have been transmitted to us by 
poetry or history of the events represented. In accom- 
plishing this task Barry fulfilled the great aim of his 
life to attain the reputation of a great historical painter. 
But it was purchased by no slight sacrifice, through seven 
years of hardship and privation, and met with no pro- 
portionate reward at its close. An extraordinary meet- 
ing of the Society of Arts was held to view the pictures, 
at which a vote of thanks to the painter was passed, 
and permission given for their public exhibition for his 
benefit. He obtained 500 as the result, and 200 was 
added to it by the Society these sums comprise nearly 
the whole produce of his professional career. During 
the exhibition of the pictures in 1783 he issued a 
pamphlet descriptive of the series, and also proposals 
for engraving and publishing by subscription a set of 
prints from the pictures ; and with his usual independent 
spirit, he undertook and completed the task himself 
without any assistance, even to the writing and printing 
on copper, and finished the plates about the year 1793. 

In 1782, when Mr. Penny resigned the chair of Pro- 
fessor of Painting at the lloyal Academy, he was ap- 
pointed to that office. The length of time he took in 
preparing his lectures (the first not being given till 1784) 
called forth a remonstrance from the President, to which 



180 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. VI. 

Barry with clenched fist and rude gesture replied, " If 
I had only in composing my lectures to produce such 
poor mistaken stuff as your discourses, I should have 
my work done, and ready to read." The conscious 
dignity and tranquil temper of Eeynolds alike restrained 
him from making any reply ; but the conduct of Barry 
on this occasion, with other causes, such as his per- 
petual altercations with the members, a naturally fierce, 
turbulent, and irritable disposition, intemperance in his 
language (particularly in his lectures, which abounded in 
ridicule of the works of his contemporaries), and a 
coarse attack upon the President and members of the 
Eoyal Academy led to his removal from the office of 
Professor of Painting, and finally to his expulsion from 
the Academy in 1799. These proceedings will be de- 
tailed in a subsequent chapter. It is here only to be 
observed, that an apology, though certainly not a justi- 
fication of the conduct of Barry, may be found in the 
bitterness of feeling which disappointment through years 
of labour had generated, and in the exasperation of his 
naturally excitable temperament, produced by the little 
sympathy or notice which he met with from the public. 
The immediate act which led to his dismissal from the 
Academy, was the publication in 1797 of his famous 
" Letter to the Dilletanti Society, respecting the obtention 
of certain matters essentially necessary for the improve- 
ment of taste, and for accomplishing the original views 
of the Eoyal Academy of Great Britain." He subse- 
quently issued a second edition, with an appendix relative 
to his differences with the Academicians. 

His series of lectures contain much originality of 
thought, and sterling subject matter, and he brought both 
his great knowledge and experience to illustrate them 
but they display a strong partiality for the outward form 
of art, and for technical execution rather than for its 
sentiment. His last literary work was an address to the 
King, published in the " Morning Herald," 3rd Decem- 



CH. VI.] JAMES BARRY 187 

ber, 1799. He had previously revised a new edition of 
Pilkington's " Dictionary of Painters." In addition to 
the pictures already mentioned, may be named among 
the other works of Barry, 'Job reproved by his Friends,' 
engraved by himself, and dedicated to Mr. Burke; 
' George III. delivering the Patent to the Judges, of 
their office for life ; ' and ' The Queen and Princesses 
patronising Education at Windsor,' intended as additions 
to the series of pictures in the Adelphi. These, and 
4 The Conversion of Polemon,' ' Philoctetes in the Island 
of Lemnos,' and several sacred subjects, are among his 
principal works. 

Latterly he lived at No. 36 Castle Street, Oxford 
Street, and here when Burke visited him, he was found 
dressing his dinner, of which his eminent friend partook, 
after being requested by Barry to go to an adjoining 
public-house to fetch the beer. 

In 1805 some friends of Barry (particularly the 
generous Earl of Buchan) procured a subscription in 
the Society of Arts to purchase an annuity for his life, 
which amounted to about 1000, but unfortunately he 
did not live even to receive the first payment of it. He 
was taken ill at a tavern where he usually dined, and 
was removed to the house of Mr. Bonomi, the architect, 
No. 76 Titchfield Street, Oxford Street, where he sunk 
under an attack of pleuritic fever, which his obstinate 
rejection of medical aid in the first instance rendered 
fatal. He died on the 21st February, 1806, and his 
remains after lying in state in the great room of the 
Society of Arts, which he had adorned by his skill, were 
interred in a vault in the crypt of St. Paul's Cathedral, 
near the last resting-place of Sir Christopher Wren, and 
Sir Joshua Eeynolds. 

WILLIAM PETERS, R.A., was born in Dublin, where his 
father held an appointment in the custom-house. He 
acquired the first rudiments of drawing from Mr. West, 



188 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. VL 

the master of the National Academy of Design in that 
city, and after a short time was sent by some patrons 
(who saw signs of art-genius developing themselves) to 
Italy, where he copied a celebrated picture at Parma by 
San Gierolorno (his copy of which afterwards became 
the altar-piece of the church of Saffron Walden in Essex), 
and also Eubens's ' Four Philosophers' in the Petti Palace 
at Florence. These works obtained for him the patron- 
age of the Duke of Eutland, who, in 1782 sent him to 
Paris to copy a picture by Le Brun in the Carmelite 
Church. He also painted for BoydelPs Shakspeare 
Gallery, scenes from ' The Merry Wives of Windsor ' 
and ' Much Ado about Nothing ; ' besides portraits and 
fancy subjects for other patrons. In his style of paint- 
ing he greatly resembled the impasto of Sir J. Eeynolds. 
There are engravings from his works in the Boydell 
Shakspeare, in Macklin's Gallery, and. others by Bar- 
tolozzi, and J. E. Smith. He painted both historical 
pictures and portraits with success. A full-length por- 
trait by him of ' George IV. when Prince of Wales,' is 
now in Freemasons' Hall. 

It is not exactly known why he abandoned painting 
as a profession, as personally he did not lack patronage 
or lucrative employment. But it is said that a lady of 
rank asked him to recommend to her a good landscape 
painter, and that, knowing Wilson's need of employment, 
he at once named him to her, and obtained a commission 
for two pictures : when he made known his success to 
Wilson, the poor artist confessed his utter inability even 
to purchase canvas and colours to execute the task ; and 
Peters was so saddened by seeing Wilson, with all his 
genius, nearly starving, that he at once resolved to re- 
nounce art as a profession. 

He had been elected an Associate of the Eoyal Aca- 
demy in 1771, and was chosen to be a Eoyal Academican 
in 1777, but he resigned these honours in 1790. Some 
years prior to this, he had entered Exeter College, Ox- 



CH. VI.J PETERS COPLEY 189 

ford, took the degree of LL.B., was ordained, and became 
Eector of Woolstorp in Lincolnshire and Knipton in 
Leicester, Prebend of Lincoln, Chaplain to H.E.H. the 
Prince of Wales, and (from 1784 to 1788) Chaplain to 
the Eoyal Academy. After resigning his connection 
with it, he continued as an honorary member, to exhibit 
occasionally pictures bearing on subjects in harmony with 
his new position. * The Pious Family bursting from a 
Sepulchre,' 'The Angel carrying the Spirit of a Child 
into Paradise,' ' The Cherub,' and other kindred subjects, 
occupied his pencil at intervals during the rest of his life. 
He died at Brasted Place in Kent, in April 1814. 

JOHN SINGLETON COPLEY, E.A., was born at Boston in 
the United States, on 3rd July, 1737. His father, John 
Copley, had married Mary Singleton, an Irish lady, and 
had long been resident in Ireland, although of English 
extraction. Their son was born immediately after his 
parents' arrival in America, and was educated in that 
country. He taught himself to paint without the aid 
of instructors, by studying the scenery around his father's 
residence, and thus acquired much more skill than 
many who had greater advantages. It is a curious coin- 
cidence, that thus simultaneously both Copley and West 
were labouring to prepare themselves for future distinc- 
tion in art, in the same distant country. The first picture 
by which attention was attracted to him in England, was 
one painted in 1760, the subject being 4 A Boy with a 
tame Squirrel.' For some years subsequently, he was 
making a good income by portrait painting in his native 
town, but was sighing for a visit to Europe. After leav- 
ing a number of paintings with his mother in Boston, 
and supplying himself from his earnings with a sufficient 
sum of money for a three years' tour in Europe, he set 
sail from Boston in 1774, and arrived in England, leaving 
it again on the 26th of August of that year for Eome. 
There he stayed till the following May, when he pro- 



190 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. VL 

ceeded to other parts of the Continent to study the 
Venetian and Flemish Schools, and at Parma copied the 
famous Correggio. At the end of 1775 he returned to 
London, and resided at 25 George Street, Hanover 
Square. He had previously sought the help of West in 
obtaining an introduction to the Eoyal Academy, and in 
1776 he exhibited his first work there, ' A Conversation.' 
In the same year he was elected an Associate, and E.A. 
in 1779. 

The picture by which Copley established his fame was 
that representing ' The Death of Lord Chatham,' now 
in the National Collection. It contained so many por- 
traits of members of the House of Peers, that it was 
universally sought after, and the fame of the picture was 
sustained by a large engraving from it by Bartolozzi, of 
which 2500 impressions were sold in a few weeks. 
America joined in the praises of the artist, and his aged 
mother's heart was gladdened at her son's success. 
Washington, when acknowledging a copy of the print 
sent him by Copley, said, " This work, highly valuable 
in itself, is rendered more estimable in my eyes, when 
I remember that America gave birth to the celebrated 
artist who produced it ; " and John Adams wrote, " I 
shall preserve my copy both as a token of your friend- 
ship, and as an indubitable proof of American genius." 
Another work, displaying less of the dry and stiff man- 
ner of this picture, also excited great attention, ' The 
Death of Major Pierson,' a young officer who fell in the 
defence of St. Heliers, Jersey, against the French. This 
picture was painted for Boydell ; and when long after- 
wards his gallery was dispersed, it was purchased back 
by the artist, and is now in the possession of his illus- 
trious son, the venerable Lord Lyndhurst. Another 
picture, painted for the Common Council of London, 
now in Guildhall, represented on a large canvas, ' The 
Eepulse and Defeat of the Spanish Floating Batteries at 
Gibraltar,' in which portraits of the gallant Lord Heath- 



CH. VI.] COPLEY DE LOUTHERBOURG 191 

field and others were introduced. A picture of another 
kind, bequeathed by him to Christ's Hospital, represented 
'The Escape of a Sea-boy from a Shark.' But while 
he painted such subjects and portraits in great numbers, 
his ambition was to be able to excel in historical com- 
positions. Most of his pictures in this style were taken 
from the history of England, and particularly the period 
of the Revolution. Among them, were 'King Charles 
signing Strafford's Death Warrant,' 'The Assassination 
of Buckingham,' ' King Charles addressing the Citizens 
of London,' 'The Five Impeached Members brought 
back in Triumph,' ' The King's Escape from Hampton 
Court,' &c. He also painted a view of ' The House of 
Commons visiting the Army at Hounslow.' Occasion- 
ally he chose sacred subjects, and his last work (with the 
exception of a portrait of his son painted in 1814) was 
' The Resurrection.' He died 9th December, 1815, 
aged seventy-eight years. His son, who is eminent both 
as a profound lawyer and a great statesman, has long 
occupied his father's house in George Street, Hanover 
Square, and has with praiseworthy devotedness collected 
within its walls the best works of his distinguished 
parent. 

PHILIP JAMES DE LOUTHEKBOURG, R.A., was born at 
Strasburg, on 31st October, 1740, and was the son of a 
miniature painter who died at Paris in 17G8. He intended 
his son for an engineer in the army, while his mother 
wished him to become a minister in the Lutheran Church, 
and he was educated at the College of Strasburg, in lan- 
guages and mathematics, as a preparation for it, until his 
decided propensity for painting led him to determine to 
pursue it as a profession. He at first studied under Tisch- 
bein, afterwards under Vanloo and Casanova, but formed 
his principles and style upon those of the last named, who 
was then in great vogue as a historical painter. After 
having obtained considerable reputation at Paris by the 



192 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. VI. 

works which he exhibited at the Louvre, and having been 
elected in 1763 a member of the Academy of Painting 
there (when eight years below the limit of age for his 
admission), De Loutherbourg quitted I ranee and travelled 
in Germany, Switzerland, and Italy, coming finally, in 
1771, to England, where he was at once engaged by 
Garrick at a salary of 500 per annum, to make designs 
for the scenes and decorations of Drury Lane Theatre. 
His vigorous style of execution, poetical imagination, and 
perfect knowledge of scenic effects, well qualified him for 
a department of art which demands them all, and which 
is only held to be a subordinate one, because its pro- 
ductions are soon laid aside and entirely forgotten. While 
his own peculiar forte was in landscape painting, by his 
education he was enabled to give to it a greater compass 
and range of subjects than usual. Besides his easel 
pictures, he occasionally employed his pencil on a larger 
scale, in depicting the events of his time. Thus among 
his most popular pictures were the 'Eeview of Warley 
Camp (1780),' 'Lord Howe's Victory on 1st June, 1794,' 
and the ' Storming of Valenciennes.' For Macklin's Bible 
pictures, he painted two, representing the ' Deluge,' and 
the ' Angel destroying the Assyrian Host.' Ah 1 his works 
are stamped by great vigour and by excellent manage- 
ment in regard to composition. He possessed great 
dexterity of hand, but sometimes displayed the foibles of 
a mannerist, and a meretricious gaudiness of colouring, 
destroying the tempered harmony of effect so observable 
in nature. His best landscapes are views of lakes and 
coast scenery. 

Soon after settling in this country, De Loutherbourg 
took up his abode at No. 45 Titchfield Street, Oxford 
Street, and was elected an Associate in 1780, and E.A. in 
1781. He produced in 1782, under the title of the 
' Eidophusikon, or a Eepresentation of Nature,' a novel 
and highly interesting exhibition, displaying the changes 
of the elements and their phenomena, in a calm, a moon- 



CH. VL] GARVEY KIGATJD 193 

light, a sunset, and a storm at sea, by the aid of reflect- 
ing transparent gauzes highly illuminated. Gainsborough 
frequently visited and admired this spectacle, which 
not only anticipated, but in some respects surpassed our 
present dioramas, although upon a smaller scale. He also 
etched in aquatinta several of his own compositions re- 
presenting soldiers, marine subjects, and landscapes. Late 
in life he unhappily became a disciple of Brothers, and 
like him also professed to be a prophet and a curer of 
diseases. Some of his predictions having failed, his house 
was attacked, and his windows broken by an angry mob, 
and he was thus silenced from issuing any more pre- 
dictions. He died at his residence^ in Hammersmith 
Terrace, -Ghiswick, on the llth March, 1812, in his - 

73rd year. 





EDMUND GARVEY, E.A., was one of the first Associates 
elected in 1770, and was chosen E.A. in 1783. Very little 
is known of his history, except that from his connexion 
he is supposed to have belonged to an Irish family. He 
painted landscapes in the manner of Wilson : his exe- 
cution was neat, but rather dry. He was a constant 
contributor to the exhibitions of the Eoyal Academy, 
sometimes painting in oil, and at others in water-colours. 
Many of his pictures were scenes from Eome, Savoy, and 
the Alps ; others of gentlemen's mansions and remarkable 
places in this country. He died in 1813, and left many 
small pictures, which were sold by auction in 1816. 

JOHN FRANCIS EIGAUD, E.A., was probably of French 
or Swiss origin, several artists of the same name having 
flourished in Paris during the seventeenth and eighteenth 
centuries, many of whom passed several years in England. 
He practised as a historical painter, and was one of the 
artists chosen by Boydell to illustrate the works of 
Shakspeare. He also painted subjects selected from 

VOL. i. o 



194 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [Cn. VI. 

Scripture, and English history, mythology, and portraits. 
He was chosen an Associate in 1772, and elected E.A. in 
1784. He translated Leonardi da Vinci's ' Treatise on 
Painting,' and published it with illustrative copper plates. 
Several engravings have been made from his pictures, 
which in style follow rather the manner of the French 
than the English school. He died on 6th December, 1810, 
at Packington, the seat of the Earl of Aylesford. He 
received many honours from abroad, having being elected 
a member of the Academy of Bologna, and of the Eoyal 
Academy of Stockholm : he was also appointed historical 
painter to Gustavus IV., King of Sweden. 

JOSEPH FAKINGTON, E.A., descended from an ancient 
family, was a son of the Eev. Wm. Farington, B.D., Sector 
of "Warrington and Vicar of Leigh, in Lancashire. He 
was born in 1742, and studied landscape painting under 
Eichard Wilson. He was admitted a student at the 
Academy on its formation, was elected an Associate in 
1783, and E.A. in 1785. His works are chiefly views of 
the lake scenery of Westmorland and Cumberland, many 
of which were engraved by Byrne and others. His 
colouring was clear and transparent, but his drawing 
sometimes hard. He took an active part in the govern- 
ment and management of the Eoyal Academy : he first 
brought forward, as one of the auditors, the plan for 
increasing the income of the Academy which was adopted 
in 1809, and proposed some important resolutions in 
regard to the pension fund. In recognition of these 
services the Academy voted 50 to be employed in the 
purchase of a piece of plate to be presented to him. By 
his great personal influence over many of his brother 
Academicians, resulting from his unceasing attention to 
the interests of the institution, combined with great diplo- 
matic tact, and many other effective elements of social 
popularity, he possessed a degree of weight in the councils 
of the Academy, far beyond any other member so much 



CH. VI.] JOHN OPIE 195 

so that with some he bore the appellation of " Dictator 
of the Koyal Academy." He died in 1822. 

JOHN OPIE'S life adds another chapter to those which 
have been so frequently written, exhibiting the career of 
genius first manifested in the humblest walks of life, and 
by its own internal strength rising to prove a public benefit 
to mankind. He was born in May, 1761, in the parish 
of St. Agnes, seven miles from Truro, where his father 
and grandfather were reputable master-carpenters. The 
family name was Oppy, and his mother was descended 
from the ancient and respectable family of Tonkin, of 
Trevawnance in Cornwall. Young Opie was very early 
remarkable for the strength of his understanding, and for 
the rapidity with which he acquired all the learning which 
a village school then afforded. At ten years of age he 
had made some progress in Euclid, and at twelve he 
set up an evening school at St. Agnes, where he taught 
arithmetic and writing to some who were twice his own 
age. He was bound apprentice to his father, and when 
assisting him in the repair of a gentleman's house at 
Truro, an incident occurred which proved the existence 
of a decided talent for art. In the parlour hung a picture 
of a farm-yard which attracted his attention so strongly 
that he frequently stole into the room to gaze at it, until 
chastised by his father for doing so. On his return home 
that evening he procured canvas and colours, and com- 
menced painting a resemblance of the farm-yard, and 
thus from memory in the course of a few days transmitted 
to his own canvas a very tolerable copy of the picture. 
His desire to become a painter was now confirmed ; but 
his father still treated his attempts witli great severity, 
and used his utmost endeavours to check him in the 
pursuit of a profession which lie regarded as destructive 
of his future prospects. Encouraged by one of his uncles, 
however, in a little time he had hung Iiis father's house with 
portraits of his family, and of his youthful companions. 

o 2 



196 HISTORY OF TIIE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. VL 

At this period in his career he attracted the notice of 
Dr. Wolcott, then residing at Truro (and subsequently 
famous as the celebrated Peter Pindar), who having him- 
self some knowledge of painting, a shrewd judgment, 
and a few tolerable pictures, was able to offer various 
advantages to the young disciple of art. By his recom- 
mendation he was enabled to find employment in making 
tours in the neighbouring towns as a professed portrait 
painter ; and on one of these occasions, after a long absence, 
he returned, not in the boy's plain short jacket with 
which he set out, but dressed in a handsome coat, with very 
long skirts, laced ruffles, and silk stockings, and presented 
his mother with twenty guineas, which he had earned by 
his pencil, informing her. that henceforward he should 
maintain himself. When he subsequently attained emi- 
nence and profitable employment, his first use of his 
increased means was to spread comfort around this beloved 
parent. The first efforts of his pencil, though void of 
that grace which can only be derived from an intimate 
knowledge of the art, were true to nature, and in a style 
far superior to anything generally produced by local 
country artists. He painted at that time with smaller 
pencils, and finished more highly than he afterwards did, 
when his hand had obtained a broader and more masterly 
execution ; but several of his early portraits would not 
have disgraced even the high name he afterwards attained. 

About the year 1777, he was introduced to Lord 
Bateman, who gave him a commission to paint figures of 
old men, beggars, &c., whose portraits he sketched with 
characteristic force and vigour. In his twenty-eighth 
year he was brought to London by his patron, Dr. Wolcott, 
and by the aid of this gentleman, in whose house he 
resided, he soon became the rage of all the fashionable 
world, and was everywhere spoken of as " the Cornish 
wonder." Although this " terrific popularity " (as he after- 
wards called it) was not of long duration, the tide of 
patronage left him in comfortable circumstances. Ac- 



CH. VI.] JOHN OPIE 197 

customed in childhood to prove himself superior to his 
companions, the desire of competition never left him, and 
when he came to the metropolis it was with the liveliest 
hopes that he would be able to attain to eminence. He 
had the good sense to meet flattery with caution, and even 
with trembling, and he viewed the unfeeling caprices of 
fashion with the sensitiveness of genius, but with the un- 
conquerable force of sense and justice. His portraits 
were the faithful expression of individual character in a 
broad masterly style, but they wanted the refinement and 
delicacy of the works of those trained in schools. He 
contributed some of his best works in the historical style 
to the Shakspeare Gallery of Boydell, and the collections 
illustrating the Bible and English history formed by 
Macklin and Bowyer. 

While thus actively pursuing his art in London, he 
sought most studiously the cultivation of his own mind, 
applied himself to reading the best authors, and "re- 
membered all he read ; " sought the society of the learned, 
and was ardent in every research which could give vigour 
to his mind. Thus he fitted himself for the literary un- 
dertakings in which he afterwards engaged. The life 
of Eeynolds, in Dr. Wolcott's edition of " Pilkington's 
Dictionary of Painters," was the first specimen of his 
ability in this way. A letter published in the " True 
Briton " newspaper followed, in which he proposed the 
formation of a National Gallery of Pictures, and which 
was subsequently reprinted as "An Inquiry into the 
requisite Cultivation of the Arts of Design in England." 
His lectures delivered at the Royal Institution dis- 
played his extensive professional knowledge, set forth the 
principles of painting, and presented an accumulation of 
maxims founded both on history and observation. They 
were listened to with attention in a fashionable circle 
assembled for intellectual entertainment, but they were 
so far from satisfying their author that he declined to 
continue them. 



198 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. VI. 

In the Eoyal Academy he was elected an Associate in 
1786, and E.A. in the following year; and on the Pro- 
fessorship of Painting becoming vacant in 1799, by Barry's 
dismissal, he offered himself as a candidate for it, but 
being told that he had a competitor whose learning and 
talents pre-eminently fitted him for that office, he resigned 
his pretensions at that time, but renewed his claims on 
Fuseli's removal to the appointment of Keeper, and was 
then elected. This was in 1805. About this time he pro- 
posed a plan for the erection of a huge figure of Britannia, 
in the Isle of Wight, as a monument to commemorate the 
exploits of the British Navy. He commenced his series of 
Lectures on Painting at the Eoyal Academy, in February 
1807, and only delivered four of the course on design, 
invention, chiaro-scuro, and colouring when he died 
somewhat suddenly at the house he had occupied for 
sixteen years, No. 8 Berners Street, Oxford Street, on 
the 9th of April, 1807, and was buried on the 20th of 
the same month in the crypt of St. Paul's Cathedral, near 
the grave of Sir Joshua Eeynolds. 

Opie was twice married, first soon after he came to 
London, to a faithless wife, from whom he was afterwards 
divorced ; and secondly, in 1798, to Amelia, the daughter 
of Dr. Alderson, a physician at Norwich, who was both an 
intellectual companion and a judicious adviser to her hus- 
band, possessed alike of kindness of heart and gentleness 
of disposition, and by her own genius added lustre to the 
name of Opie, becoming one of the most popular novelists 
of the day. She published a memoir of her husband after 
his decease, and his lectures at the Eoyal Academy, which 
though they displayed none of the brilliant specimens of 
erudition and imagination which characterised those of 
his predecessor, Fuseli, appeared to be unequalled of their 
kind ; and it is to be regretted that the system of pro- 
fessional instruction he had designed in these lectures was 
cut short by the progress of a fatal disease which termi- 
nated in his death at the early age of forty-six. 



CH. VI.] OPIE NORTHCOTE 199 

Portraiture and historical painting divided the attention 
of Opie after his arrival in London. His most admired 
productions in the latter style are the 'Presentation in the 
Temple,' ' Jephthah's Vow,' The Murder of James I. of 
Scotland,' ' The Death of David Eizzio,' ' Arthur taken 
Prisoner,' ' Hubert and Arthur,' ' Belisarius,' ' Juliet in the 
Garden,' &c. None of these works affect ideal beauty or 
refined poetical composition, but they are stamped by 
energy of style and a perfect purity of colour, an har- 
monious tone, and exact effects of light and shade. In 
his portraits their truth and reality abundantly compen- 
sate for the absence of the more refined characteristics 
of elegance and taste. 

JAMES NORTHCOTE, E.A., who lived to a venerable age, 
was born on 22nd October, 1746, at Plymouth, where his 
father was a watchmaker. From a very early period in 
life, he manifested his taste for art ; and so enthusiastic 
was he, that when Reynolds visited Devonport with Dr. 
Johnson in 17G2, he pressed through the crowd only to 
touch the skirt of his coat, " which I did," he says, " with 
great satisfaction to my mind." His father, however, felt 
no inclination to encourage his predilection for so uncer- 
tain a profession, and therefore apprenticed him to his own 
trade. It was not till after his articles were concluded, and 
that he had attained the age of twenty-four, that lie began 
earnestly to study as an artist. A friend of his father, 
Dr. Zachary Mudge, introduced him in 1771 to Sir 
Joshua, who, though he had little opinion of his talent 
or progress at that time* resolved to give him a trial, and 
for five years he was a resident pupil in his house, enjoy- 
ing all the advantages of study in his gallery. During 
this period his diligence soon compensated for the defi- 
ciencies of his previous training, and he quickly gained 
the esteem and approval of his preceptor. 

Soon after quitting Reynolds's studio, he commenced 
practice on his own account as a portrait painter, and 



200 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [Cn. VL 

endeavoured to imitate the colouring and style of Rey- 
nolds ; but being ambitious of directing his attention to 
the higher walk of historical painting, he set out for Italy 
in 1777, where he spent about five years, and was elected 
a member of the Academies of Florence and Cortona. 
Shortly after his return to England, an opportunity for 
exercising his skill in historical composition was offered 
by BoydelTs Shakspeare Gallery. His contributions to 
this laudable undertaking established his reputation, and 
secured him a high rank among the artists of his day. 
Indeed, among the many splendid productions by the 
British artists of that period which were then collected 
together, none were more justly attractive than the com- 
positions of Northcote which he painted in 1786. The 
scene of 'The Smothering of the Princes in the Tower;' 
' The Removal of their Bodies by Torchlight for Interment 
at the Foot of the stone Steps ;' his large picture of ' Wat 
Tyler,' for the city of London ; and the scene between 
' Hubert and Prince Arthur,' may be especially noticed 
in proof of this statement, and as displaying the successful 
imitation of the colouring of Reynolds, to which North- 
cote had attained. These works were followed by ' The 
Grecian Girl ;' ' The Dominican Friar ;' ' The Landing of 
the Prince of Orange ; ' ' Jacob blessing the sons of 
Joseph ; ' ' The Angels appearing to the Shepherds ; ' 
' Romulus and Remus ; ' ' The Death of the Earl of Ar- 
gyll ;' and ' Prospero and Miranda.' By means of the en- 
gravings made from them, these and other productions 
of his pencil were widely known in Europe ; while ' The 
Village Doctress,' and similar familiar subjects, were seen 
framed and glazed in various parts of the country. In- 
deed, to the unwearying labour of Boydell in promoting 
the interests of the British School of Engraving, the artists 
of that day had to attribute much of the patronage they 
received. The disastrous result to Boydell of the specu- 
lation in the Shakspeare Gallery, and other undertakings, 
seems for a while to have damped the ardour, and crip- 



On. VI.] JAMES NORTIICOTE 201 

pled the energies of the artists whom he patronised ; and 
thus Northcote, among the number, failing to maintain 
his position as a historical painter, divided his labours 
between these compositions and fancy subjects and por- 
traiture. Subsequently, with the wish to rival the works 
of Hogarth, he painted a series of ten pictures on 
moral subjects, illustrating Virtue and Vice in the 
progress of two young women. These designs, though 
they bore directly on the subject of the drama they were 
intended to represent, were wanting in that life-like 
character and expression which Hogarth gave to his 
composition of ' The Marriage a la Mode,' and similar 
works. 

Northcote was enthusiastic in the pursuit of his art, 
but his ability and genius were not equal to his applica- 
tion. He took delight in painting wild animals, both 
beasts and birds ; and on one occasion, whilst making a 
study of a vulture from nature, he laid down his palette, 
and clasping his hands, exclaimed, " I lately beheld an 
eagle painted by Titian, and if Heaven would give me 
the power to achieve such a work, I would then be con- 
tent to die." Though he never attained the eminence, 
as a painter, nor that perfection in the arts, which he 
coveted, he found in his artistic pursuits sufficient to 
satisfy his mind, and to preserve him in undisturbed tran- 
quillity during a long life. From a studious desire not 
to incur debts, he lived economically and in retirement, 
occasionally enjoying the society of his brother artists, to 
one of whom, when confined by sickness, he one day 
observed, " If Providence were to leave me the liberty of 
choosing my heaven, I should be content to occupy my 
little painting-room, with a continuance of the happiness 
I have experienced there, even for ever." 

The conversational powers of Northcote were regarded 
as of a high order, arid were distinguished by an acute- 
ness and perception which arc supposed to have origi- 
nated in the delight with which, as a boy, he listened to 



202 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. VI. 

the colloquies of Dr. Mudge, and other intellectual men, 
who were visitors at his father's house. Many persons 
paid him visits for the sake of listening to his criticism on 
art and artists ; and though much of his time was thus 
passed, he never allowed it to interfere with his painting, 
which he pursued uninterruptedly, whoever might be 
present at the time. Severe and satirical in his censure, 
few men escaped condemnation in some point, yet some 
favoured individuals maybe mentioned, Opie he always 
spared ; and so great was his veneration for his preceptor 
Eeynolds, that he would never allow any one to utter 
aught to the disparagement of his memory, but himself. 
Hazlitt's conversations with him afford a good portraiture 
of his character, and of the qualities of his mind. The 
literary productions of Northcote are far from inconsider- 
able. Many papers by him appeared in a work entitled 
" The Artist ;" and in 1813 he published his memoirs of 
Sir Joshua Eeynolds, with an analysis of his discourses, in a 
quarto volume, to which he afterwards added a supplement. 
In 1828, at the venerable age of eighty-two, he brought 
out his " One hundred fables, original and selected ; " and 
two years later his life of Titian, a work which contains 
much information on art generally, but which is known 
to have been written by Hazlitt, from the materials fur- 
nished by Northcote. Neither did he lay aside his pencil 
till within a day or two of his death, which took place 
on the 13th July, 1831, in the 86th year of his age. 

On his first arrival in London he became a student at 
the Eoyal Academy, in 1786 he was elected an Associate, 
and in the following year a Eoyal Academician. For 
many years his works held a conspicuous place in the 
exhibitions at Somerset House, where they always at- 
tracted attention from the clear way in which he told 
the story he represented. There was a certain dignity 
and grace in all his pictures, which were unfortunately 
counterbalanced by defective drawing, want of pictorial 
conception, and dulness of colouring. Nevertheless, he 



CH. VI.] WILLIAM HODGES 203 

amassed a large fortune by his profession, and his habits, 
like those of Nollekens, were too penurious to dissipate 
it. He was never married, but lived with a maiden sister, 
to whom he bequeathed a large property. For nearly 
fifty years he occupied the house in which he died, No. 
39 Argyle Street, Eegent's Street. He was buried in St. 
Marylebone New Church. 

WILLIAM HODGES, E.A., was born in London in 1744. 
His father was a blacksmith who worked at a forge he 
kept in St. James's Market. When quite a boy he attended 
Shipley's drawing school, in the Strand, and subsequently 
became a pupil of Wilson, the landscape painter. In 
these early days he painted decorations for theatres, and 
architectural views. In 1772 he accepted the appoint- 
ment of draughtsman in the second voyage to the South 
Seas, undertaken by Captain Cook, and his drawings v ^ 
were published with the narrative of the expedition. A 
After an absence of three years he returned to England, 
and painted some pictures for the Admiralty of scenes at 
Otaheite and Ulietea in the Pacific. He afterwards went 
to India, under the patronage of Warren Hastings, where 
he realised a considerable fortune. 

He was elected an Associate in 1786, and a Eoyal Aca- 
demician in 1787. He painted two pictures forBoydell's 
Shakspeare Gallery, ' The Forest of Arden, with the 
wounded Stag ; ' and ' The Grove Scene from Portia's 
House.' In 1790 he made a tour on the continent of 
Europe, and in 1793 exhibited a view of St. Petersburg 
at the Eoyal Academy. His style was an imitation of 
that of Wilson ; and one of his best works is a view of 
Windsor from the Great Park. In his later years he ex- 
hibited several of his foreign views two of these, repre- 
senting a seaport in time of peace and the same place 
devastated by fire and sword, are now in the Soane 
Museum. Many of his works were engraved, and he 
published a series of aquatinta plates of his views in 



204 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. VI. 

India, and an illustrated account of his travels, dedicated 
to the East India Company. Unfortunately, he was in- 
duced in 1795 to invest his Indian fortune in establishing 
a Bank at Dartmouth, in Devonshire, which failed two 
years afterwards. The shock caused his death on the 
6th March, 1797, and his third wife died a few months 
afterwards. 

JOHN EUSSELL, E. A., was born at Kingsten-en-Thames in 
174^. He studied crayon drawing under Francis Cotes, 
whose skill in that branch of art has never been excelled. 
In 1770 he became a student of the Eoyal Academy, and 
continued to paint crayon portraits in the manner of his 
preceptor, which were greatly admired, although they 
were more gaudily coloured than those of Cotes. He 
published a treatise on the " Elements of Painting in Cray- 
ons," which was so far popular at the time as to pass 
through two editions. Besides painting, he seems also to 
have had a taste for astronomy, having made a model, 
showing the appearance of the moon, called the Senelo- 
graphia, and published a description of it with plates 
engraved by himself. He also invented a peculiar mode 
of preparing his own crayons, &c., which was afterwards 
continued by his son. He was elected an Associate in 
1772, and an E.A. in 1788. He lived in Newman Street, 
Oxford Street ; but died in lodgings he had taken at Hull, 
on the 21st April, 1806. He held the appointment of 
portrait painter in crayons to the King and the Prince of 
Wales. 

WILLIAM HAMILTON, E.A., was descended from a Scottish 
family, but was born in London in 1751, his father being 
then resident at Chelsea, and an assistant to Eobert Adam, 
the architect. In his youth he went to Italy as a pupil 
of A. Zucchi, and after spending some years in Eome, 
returned to England to pursue the profession of a portrait 
and historical painter. His gentle and amiable manners 



CH. VI.] WILLIAM HAMILTON 205 

gained him many patrons ; and the charm of his colour- 
ing, the soft delicacy of his style, and a refinement ap- 
proaching even to extravagance, caused his portrait pic- 
tures to be very popular. As a historical painter he 
was extensively employed to take part in the schemes of 
Boydell, Macklin, and Bowyer, to illustrate the Bible, 
the Poets, English History, and Shakspeare, and most of 
his works of this kind displayed great readiness and faci- 
lity of invention. They were engraved by Bartolozzi, 
and others. He was also frequently engaged in designing 
vignettes for book-illustrations ; and his small coloured 
drawings were so fresh, so full of colour, and finished 
with so much taste, that they were deservedly admired. 
Lord Fitzgibbon gave him 600 guineas for his designs on 
the panels of his state-coach ; and he executed some beau- 
tiful arabesque ornaments for the seat of the Marquis of 
Bute, in Hampshire. He found abundant and lucrative 
employment for his varied talents. His best historical 
pictures are ' The Woman of Samaria,' and ' The Queen 
of Sheba's Visit to Solomon,' the latter a design for a 
window in Arundel Castle ; and in portraiture, ' Mrs. Sid- 
dons, in the character of Lady Eandolph.' He became a 
student of the Eoyal Academy in 1769, an Associate in 
1784, and was elected E.A. in 1789. He died somewhat 
suddenly, in the prime of life, on 2nd December, 1801. He 
attended the Royal Academy as one of the visitors on the 
26th of November, but on his return home to Dean 
Street, Soho, in the evening, he was seized with the fever 
of which he speedily died. His remains were interred in 
St. Ann's churchyard, Soho, and were followed to the 
grave by many of his brethren in the Royal Academy, 
where he was much beloved. His talents had made him a 
great favourite with the public, and his virtues caused his 
friends greatly to lament his deatli in the prime of life. 

HENRY FUSELI, R.A., unlike the majority of the artists 
we have mentioned, belonged to a family of painters. He 



206 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. VI. 

was the second son of John Jasper Fiieseli (a portrait 
and landscape painter, and the author of " The Lives of 
the Helvetic Painters "), and was the godchild of the 
celebrated Gessner. He was born at Zurich on the 7th 
of February, 1741, and though several members of his 
family were artists, his father discouraged to the utter- 
most his son's predilections for the same profession. Yet 
the attempt was made in vain. When a boy he bought 
with his small .allowance of pocket money, candles, 
pencils, and paper, to enable him to draw when his 
parents believed him to be in bed ; and the produce of 
these studies when sold to his companions, enabled him 
to purchase fresh supplies of materials for carrying on 
his work. Being destined for the clerical profession, he 
received a classical education at the Collegium Carolinum 
at Zurich, and while there he made the acquaintance of 
Lavater, and other persons afterwards distinguished in 
the world of letters. He took the degree of M.A., and 
entered holy orders in 1761 ; but though, it is said, he 
excited considerable attention as a preacher, it is evident 
his inclinations were not suited to his holy calling. 
Having in conjunction with Lavater, written a pamphlet 
exposing the unjust conduct of. one of the magistrates of 
Zurich, he excited the enmity of a powerful family, and 
his friends advised him to leave the city. He accord- 
ingly travelled about Europe till 1765, when Sir A. 
Mitchell, the English Minister at Berlin, invited him to 
accompany him to England to assist in a literary com- 
munication proposed to be opened between Germany and 
this country. He became acquainted with Mr. Millar 
and Mr. Johnson, two eminent publishers, and for three 
years he seems to have depended for support principally 
upon the produce of translations for the booksellers, from 
the German, French, and Italian languages into English, 
and from English into German. 

In 1766, after an unfortunate attempt to obtain lordly 
patronage as travelling tutor to Lord Chewton, the son 



CH. VI.] HENRY FUSELI 207 

of Earl Waldegrave, he determined to return to England 
to devote himself to the arts, and having been fortunate 
enough to obtain an introduction to Sir Joshua Reynolds, 
he was greatly encouraged by the kind opinion he ex- 
pressed of the drawings he submitted for his inspection. 
" Were I the author of these drawings, and were offered 
ten thousand a-year not to practise as an artist, I would 
reject the proposal with contempt," were Eeynolds's words. 
For two years Fuseli devoted his attention exclusively to 
the arts still continuing, however, to gain the friend- 
ship of men eminent in the literary world, with which 
his early labours as an author had connected him. In 
1770 he set out on a visit to Italy, and was absent from 
England nine years. In this long interval, his biographer, 
Mi\ Knowles, says that " although he paid minute atten- 
tion to the works of Eaphael, Correggio, Titian, and the 
other great men whom Italy has produced, yet he con- 
sidered the antique and Michael Angelo as his masters, 
and formed his style upon their principles," endeavouring 
to infuse some of their power and spirit into his own 
productions. After his return to England, he exhibited 
several pictures at the Eoyal Academy, one of which, 
' The Nightmare,' in 1782, excited considerable surprise 
by its bold nervous treatment. Literary pursuits were still 
mingled with his artistic labours, and about this time he 
assisted Cowper in his translation of Homer, edited the 
English version of Lavater's works on " Physiognomy," 
and contributed frequently to the " Analytical Eeview." 

Fuseli was one of the artists employed on Boydell's 
Shakspeare. lie painted eight pictures for this series 
the most notable being " The Witches ' in Macbeth, and 
4 The Ghost appearing to Hamlet.' He also contributed 
to the Mackhn and Woodmason Galleries, commenced 
in imitation of Boydell's plan ; and all these works are 
known by the engravings made from them. In 1788 he 
removed from No. 100 St. Martin's Lane, took a house 
in Queen Anue Street East, and married Miss Sophia 



208 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. VI. 

Eawlins of Bath-Eaton, and in the same year was elected 
an Associate of the Eoyal Academy. In 1790 he was 
elected a Eoyal Academican, at the time when Bonomi 
was also a candidate ; and although Eeynolds supported 
the latter, and felt much annoyed at his failure, he did 
not exhibit any ill-feeling towards his opponent Fuseli, 
to whom the President's kindness remained unaltered 
to the last. At this time Fuseli projected his " Milton 
Gallery," and in the next nine years painted forty pictures 
in illustration of the poet's works. In May 1799 his 
Gallery was opened to the public, but unfortunately the 
speculation proved ruinously unproductive ; for at the 
close of the exhibition, the money taken was not suffi- 
cent to pay the rent of the premises, and the other 
expenses attending it : in the following year the Gallery 
was re-opened with seven additional pictures ; but not- 
withstanding the countenance and support which it met 
with from the Eoyal Academicians 1 , and other influential 
friends, and the fame obtained by the artist, the result 
was equally unsuccessful with the first. This may per- 
haps be attributed to the circumstance, that Fuseli's 
works, wonderful as they undoubtedly were for inven- 
tion, were not such as generally to meet with popular 
favour. His earliest examples had been the drawings of 
the German artists of his native place, and their man- 
nerism more or less displayed itself in all his works. 
He possessed a wild and unbounded imagination, and 
his productions partook of that mysticism and exaggera- 
tion which he had imbibed from his German origin and 
education ; hence, the excellences of his style, and the 
real genius he displayed, were lost upon ah 1 but those who 
had a taste for the highest specimens of art, and his lofty 
imaginings were set down by all others as extravagance. 
On the removal of Barry from the office of Professor 



1 The members of the Royal Aca- brate its opening, paying for the cost 
demy gave a dinner in honour of of the entertainment among them- 
Fuseli, at the Milton Gallery, to cele- selves. 



CH. VI.] HENRY FUSELI 209 

of Painting, at the Eoyal Academy, in 1799, Fuseli was 
appointed to it without opposition, Opie, the only other 
candidate, having withdrawn. His first lectures were 
delivered in 1801 ; they were well attended, and in 
their delivery he was frequently interrupted by applause. 
They were published in the same year, and have since 
been translated into German, French, and Italian. 
Though not to be compared to Sir Joshua Eeynolds's 
discourses for general information, or the exhibition of 
the principles to be applied to the purposes of art, 
Fuseli's lectures, nevertheless, contain some of the best 
fine-art criticism in our language ; and the earnestness of 
his manner, combined with the eloquence with which he 
was gifted, rendered his addresses highly popular among 
the students. He vacated the office of Professor of 
Painting in 1804, when he was elected Keeper of the 
Eoyal Academy ; but in 1806, as Opie, his successor, had 
not then prepared his course, he again delivered his 
series of lectures. In the following year, as we have 
seen, Opie died somewhat suddenly, after having given 
only four lectures ; Mr. Tresham, his successor, resigned 
in 1809, on the plea of ill-health ; and the Aca- 
demicians then generally expressed their wish for the 
re-election of Fuseli. This, however, was contrary to 
one of their bye-laws ; and it affords a proof of the 
high estimation in which he was held, that they waived 
this objection in consideration of his eminent talents. 
In the next year, therefore, he resumed his lectures, then 
enriched with many observations made during a recent 
visit to France to see the collection of pictures from all 
parts of the Continent, gathered together in Paris by 
Napoleon. 

In 1810 also, Fuseli published a new edition of Pil- 
kington's " Dictionary of Painters," having inserted in it 
some 300 additional notices of artists. Among his other 
literary works, which have not already been mentioned, 
was a translation into German of Lady Montagu's 

VOL. i. p 



210 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. VI. 

"Letters," and of Winckelmann's work on "Ancient 
Painting and Sculpture in England," into English. In 
1818, when in his 78th year, Mr. Knowles, his exe- 
cutor and biographer, collected under his inspection 
the " Aphorisms on Art," subsequently printed ; and in 
1820 Fuseli published another edition of his lectures, 
adding three others, and an introduction entitled, " A 
Characteristic Sketch of the Principal Technic Instruc- 
tion, Ancient and Modern, which we possess." Six ad- 
ditional lectures from MS. were published subsequently 
to his death. Though Fuseli was a foreigner, and had 
made England but the country of his adoption, his know- 
ledge of our language was perfect ; he could never, how- 
ever, overcome the difficulty of pronunciation, and for 
this reason changed his family name of Fiiessli, first to 
Fusseli, and afterwards to Fuseli, in order to suit the 
Italian sound of it. 

Having lived to a good old age, and survived all his 
early and intimate friends, Fuseli died in his 88th year, 
but in the full vigour of his mental faculties, in the 
house of his stedfast friend, the Countess of Guildford, at 
Putney Heath, on the 16th of April, 1825, having re- 
ceived from that lady and her daughters all the attention 
it was possible for them to bestow upon him, in order to 
soothe the severity of his last sufferings. Although a 
man of sarcastic and violent temper, he had many 
admiring friends : among them, Cowper, the poet ; Coutts, 
the banker ; the famous Mary Woolstoncroft ; and he re- 
tained to the end of his life the regard of Sir Thomas 
Lawrence. He was buried on the 25th of April, 1825, 
in St. Paul's Cathedral, between the remains of Sir Joshua 
Reynolds and those of Opie, and was attended to the 
grave by the President and most of the members of the 
Royal Academy, besides his private circle of acquaintance. 
After his death, his drawings, 804 in number, were sold 
by Mrs. Fuseli to Sir Thomas Lawrence, who gave her a 
bond, bearing interest at 200 a-year ; outstanding at the 



CH. VI] HENRY FUSELI 211 

time of his decease. The drawings were returned by his 
executor, and the bond cancelled. Subsequently they 
were sold to the Dowager Countess Guildford. 

Fuseli's genius was of a high order. An intimate 
acquaintance with the learned languages had early 
enabled him to fill his mind from the rich storehouses of 
ancient poetry, and the energy of his imagination dis- 
played itself in all his works. His style as a painter, 
undisciplined by all the restraints of an early artistic 
education, had a degree of wildness which, in dreamy or 
terrible subjects, was often grand and impressive, although 
in its character almost amounting to extravagance. He 
seems to have been conscious of this, for he is said to 
have observed, " If you would have a picture of Nature 
as she is, you must go to Opie ; if one as she has been, 
go to Northcote ; but if you wish to possess representa- 
tions which never have been nor ever will be, come to 
me." Sometimes his designs were marred by exaggerated 
proportions, and convulsive muscular action ; but in 
regard to invention and composition, they generally merit 
unmixed praise ; and although his colouring was often 
deficient, and even repulsive, from its sickly yeUow tinge, 
by some it has been admired for that solemn tone which 
is found in the works of the greatest fresco painters. 

As a teacher of the fine arts, whether Fuscli be con- 
sidered in his capacity of Professor of Painting or in that 
of Keeper of the Schools of the Eoyal Academy, he was 
eminently skilful ; he possessed an extensive knowledge 
of the works of the ancient and modern masters, a sound 
judgment, and an accurate eye. To the students he was 
a sure guide, ever ready to assist by his instruction 
modest merit, and to repress presumption. That the 
English School of Design reaped great advantages from 
his appointment as Keeper of the Eoyal Academy is 
evident, when we refer to those who were his pupils, 
among whom were Hilton, Etty, Wilkie, Leslie, and 
Mulready. His warmth of temper sometimes brought 

r 2 



212 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. VL 

him into direct opposition to his colleagues; and on these 
occasions he was wont to boast that he could " speak 
Greek, Latin, French, English, German, Danish, Dutch 
and Spanish, and so let his folly or his fury get vent 
through eight different avenues." His sarcastic sayings 
live in the memories of numerous artists who felt their 
force ; while his own peculiarities of style, in design and 
colouring, led the wits of his time to confer on him the 
title of " Principal Hobgoblin-painter to the Devil." Still, 
if his pictures were not popular, it was because they 
lacked the prettinesses of painting, and not that they 
wanted 'the poetical treatment or originality of conception 
which characterise the productions of the real genius 
in art. 

JOHN WEBBEE, E.A., was born in London in 1752. 
His father was a sculptor (David Garrick's monument in 
Westminster Abbey is his work), a native of Berne, in 
Switzerland, and he sent his son to Paris, when he was 
still young, to receive instruction as an artist. On his 
return to London, in 1775, he became a student at 
the Eoyal Academy, and not long afterwards was ap- 
pointed draughtsman to the last expedition to the 
South Seas undertaken by Captain Cook, with the view 
of making drawings of whatever was remarkable in those 
hitherto unknown regions ; and when the vessels arrived 
at Kamtschatka, he acted as interpreter also, for no one 
else on board could speak German. He returned from 
this voyage in 1780, and was employed by the Admiralty 
to superintend the engraving of the prints made from the 
sketches he had taken of the lands they had explored 
and the scenes they had witnessed. Subsequently he 
etched and aquatinted a series of views of the principal 
places he had visited in China, Eussia, &c., which were 
afterwards coloured, and were deservedly popular. He 
was elected an Associate of the Eoyal Academy in 1785, 
and E.A. in 1791. He confined himself to landscape 



CH. VI.] FRANCIS WHEATLEY 213 

painting, drawing with great accuracy both scenes and 
figures, and carefully finishing every minute object in his 
pictures, which were always pleasing in effect, but some- 
times too highly coloured. He died before he had com- 
pleted the publication of his series of foreign views, at 
his lodgings in Oxford Street, on the 29th of May, 1793. 

FRANCIS WHEATLEY, E.A., was the son of a tailor, and 
was born in London in 1747. His first instruction in art 
was received at Shipley's drawing school, and while still 
young he obtained several of the premiums awarded 
by the Society of Arts. In his earlier productions he 
followed the manner of Hayman and Gravelot; but 
having made the acquaintance of John Mortimer, he 
copied several of his paintings and drawings, and thus 
fell into his style. He assisted him in decorating the 
ceilings of Lord Melbourne's fine seat at Brocket Hall, in 
Herts, and in the early part of his career he was employed 
on the decorations for Vauxhall. He excelled in rural 
pieces with figures, and in landscapes, which he painted 
both in oil and water-colours ; but he also found con- 
siderable employment in the early part of his life in 
painting small whole-length portraits. Edwards represents 
him to have led a very irregular life, and says that " he 
left London for Dublin, in company with Mrs. Gresse, 
with whom he had the folly to engage in an intrigue, for 
which he was prosecuted, and cast in the Court of King's 
Bench." During his residence in Dublin he met with 
great encouragement from persons of taste and fashion, 
and gained some reputation by his picture of the ' Irish 
House of Commons,' with portraits of all the members, 
at the moment when Grattan was making his motion for 
the repeal of Poyning's Act. This picture was afterwards 
disposed of by raffle in Dublin. On his return to London 
he pursued a new style, somewhat in the manner of the 
French painter Greuze, who was then a favourite, in 
which he painted popular rural and domestic subjects. 



214 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [Cir. VI. 

' The Eiots of 1780 ' afforded him another subject for his 
pencil, and this picture was one of his best works. It 
was unfortunately burnt in the house of James Heath, the 
engraver, in Lisle Street, Leicester Fields, who had made 
a print from it for Mr. Alderman Boydell, who gave 
Wheatley 200 for the use of it. He also employed him 
to paint twelve pictures for his Shakspeare Gallery, chiefly 
illustrating the scenes in the comedies ; and in these 
works, and his pictures for Bowyer's Historical Gallery, 
his merits, both in composition and as a colourist, are 
fairly displayed. He was a student of the Eoyal Academy 
in 1769, an Associate in 1790, and E.A. in 1791. In his 
later years he was a martyr to the gout, and died from 
that disease on the 28th of June, 1801. 

OZIAS HUMPHREY, E.A., was born at Honiton, in Devon- 
shire, on the 8th September, 1742, and was educated at 
the endowed grammar school there, under the Eev. E. 
Lewis, M.A., until his fourteenth year. At his own 
earnest solicitation his parents sent him to London to be 
instructed for the profession of an artist ; and he studied 
drawing under Mr. Pars, who kept a school for design 
near Beaufort Buildings, in the Strand. Subsequently he 
took advantage of the Duke of Eichmond's munificent 
plan of making public to students the plaster casts from 
the antique which he had collected ; and after three 
years thus spent, he returned to Devonshire, in conse- 
quence of his father's death. Shortly afterwards he 
sought admission to the studio of Sir Joshua Eeynolds ; 
but not being successful, he went for two years to study 
with Mr. Samuel Collins, a miniature-painter of high re- 
pute in Bath, accompanied him when he removed to 
Dublin, and succeeded him in his professional employ- 
ment there. In 1764 he came back to London, having 
been invited by Eeynolds to come to the metropolis. In 
1766 he attracted attention by a miniature-portrait he 
sent to the Spring Gardens Exhibition of John Maling 



CH. VI.] OZIAS HUMPHREY 215 

(subsequently the well-known model of the Eoyal Aca- 
demy), which was purchased by the King, who presented 
him with one hundred guineas, and afterwards showed 
his appreciation of his talents by giving him a commis- 
sion to paint miniatures of the Queen and other members 
of the Eoyal family. This was the commencement of a 
long series of successful works in miniature, which was 
interrupted in 1772, when in consequence of a fah 1 from 
his horse, Mae found his nervous system so shaken as to 
unfit him for such delicate execution. He therefore re- 
solved to turn his attention to oil-painting on a large 
scale ; and in 1773, accompanied by his friend Eomney, 
proceeded to Eome, where, and in its immediate vicinity, 
he lived four years, studying the principles of oil paint- 
ing, which were tih 1 that time almost unknown to him. 
From 1777 to 1785 he was occupied in London, painting 
generally in oil. In the latter year he embarked for 
India; and on his arrival at Calcutta, was persuaded to 
renew his first practice of miniature painting. His talents 
and gentlemanly bearing procured him the esteem and 
friendship of Sir W. Jones and Warren Hastings ; and 
he was chosen one of the first members of the Asiatic 
Society. While in India he visited the courts of Moor- 
shedabad, Benares, and Lucknow, painting portraits of 
princes, nabobs, and other distinguished persons. Decay 
of health compelled him to return again to England in 
1788, after he had realised a handsome fortune in India. 
He resumed his miniature painting, and exhibited many 
of his recent works in the exhibition of the following 
year. In 1779 he had been elected an Associate of the 
Eoyal Academy: he was now in 1791 elected a Eoyal 
Academician. He was engaged to paint a cabinet for the 
Duke of Dorset, with likenesses of his Grace's ancestors, 
from the portraits in the collection at Knole ; but when 
he had finished nearly fifty portraits in a fine and delicate 
style, his eyes became so weakened by excessive appli- 
cation as to compel him to relinquish the labour. Loving 



216 mSTOEY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. VI. 

his art, however, he found a resource in crayons, to 
which line of painting he now devoted his attention, and 
was eminently successful. Two portraits, of the Prince 
and Princess of Orange, in this style, were completed in 
1797, and were his last works, as his sight then com- 
pletely failed him. He passed the remainder of his days 
at Knightsbridge, and died on the 9th March, 1810. 
His taste and genius, his assiduity in the study of the 
best models, his correctness of design, and rich and har- 
monious colouring, combine to render his works both 
valuable and attractive. 

THE SCULPTORS elected as Academicians during the 
presidency of Sir Joshua Eeynolds have next to be no- 
ticed : these were, Edward Burch, elected in 1771, 
Joseph Nollekens in 1772, John Bacon in 1778, and 
Thomas Banks in 1785. 

EDWARD BURCH, E.A., was the first Eoyal Academician 
elected by the members, all those preceding him having 
been nominated by the King. He entered as a student 
in 1769, was one of the first associates in 1770, and an 
E. A. in 1771. He was most eminent as a gem-sculptor ; 
but he exhibited occasionally models in wax, and busts 
from the antique. Among modern artists, Burch was re- 
garded as the one who had attained the nearest to the 
point of excellence reached by the Greek and Eoman 
engravers, although he had no advantage from foreign 
study. He studied with great assiduity, sketched all his 
figures anatomically with extreme care, finished his works 
with a truth and delicacy which left nothing to be de- 
sired, and detailed the muscular parts of every figure so 
as to express the emotion by which they were set in 
action. A large number of his works were arranged to- 
gether in the famous " Tassie Collection of Gems." He 
exhibited a series of his beautiful sculpture casts from 
gems and other similar works year by year at the Eoyal 



CH. VI.] JOSEPH NOLLEKENS 217 

Academy, till his death in 1814. For some years pre- 
viously he held the appointment of Librarian to the 
Academy. 

JOSEPH NOLLEKEXS, E.A., has had his life written at 
great length by one of his executors, J. T. Smith, the late 
keeper of the prints at the British Museum ; but from 
disappointment at not sharing in his fortune, it is written 
in an unkindly spirit, although we can learn from it the 
main facts of the sculptor's life. He was the son of a 
painter (" Old Nollekens," as he was termed by Walpole 
and others), a native of Antwerp, and of his wife, Mary 
Ann Le Sacque. Joseph was born in Dean Street, Soho, 
on the llth August, 1737, and baptized at the Eoman 
Catholic Chapel in Lincoln's Inn Fields. His father died 
on the 21st January, 1748, when he was very young, 
and his mother quickly remarried, and went to reside 
with her second husband in Wales ; hence Joseph's 
school education was neglected, and he early set to work 
to study as an artist, never afterwards attempting to make 
up his lack of book-learning. After a short time spent 
in Shipley's drawing school in the Strand, he was ap- 
prenticed, when only thirteen, to Scheemakers, the 
sculptor, whose studio was in Vine Street, Piccadilly. 
While there he worked patiently and perseveringly, early 
and late, and success rewarded his exertions. In 1759 
he gained the Society of Arts' premium of fifteen guineas 
for a group of figures in clay ; and in the next year 
thirty guineas for a bas-relief, and ten guineas more for a 
model in clay of a dancing faun. 

Anxious to escape from the jealous opposition of some 
of his fellow-students at Scheemakers', and also to im- 
prove himself in his art, he went in 1760 to Borne, and 
he had to work hard while there to obtain a maintenance. 
In 1761, he was so fortunate as to have awarded to him 
by the Society of Arts, fifty guineas for his marble group 
of ' Timoclea before Alexander.' David Garrick met him 



218 HISTORY OF TIIE ROYAL ACADEMY [Cii. VI. 

in the Vatican, remembered these successful prize-works, 
and sat to him for his bust, giving him twelve guineas 
for it. This was his first commission. Another, also 
obtained at Eome, was from Sterne, done in terra-cotta, 
and so admirable a likeness that it greatly increased 
Nollekens' reputation. An equally profitable occupation 
he found in Eome was the purchase of antique fragments, 
and their restoration into complete statues. These and 
other purchases judiciously made, reimbursed him hand- 
somely when resold : some of the terra-cottas he bought 
at Eome are now in the Townley Collection in the 
British Museum. He found ready patrons for these 
works among the English visitors to the Italian capital ;. 
and among them were the Earls of Yarborough and Bes- 
borough, and Lord Selsey. For Lord Yarborough he 
afterwards executed two of his best works, ' Mercury ' 
and ' Venus chiding Cupid.' 

Ten years were spent in Italy, and on his return to 
London, Nollekens took a lease of the house in Mortimer 
Street, once occupied by Newton, the Secretary of the 
Eoyal Academy. Here he formed a studio for himself, 
a shop for assistants, and a gallery for models, and his 
busts of Sterne and Grarrick having preceded his return, 
he found many patrons ready to employ him. His simple 
unassuming manners and quiet looks pleased the sitters 
who came to him for busts, as much as the excellent like- 
nesses he wrought, and employment hence became abun- 
dant. He had presented a fine cast of the Torso to the 
Eoyal Academy on his return from Eome, and was elected 
an Associate in 1771. He obtained his diploma as a 
Eoyal Academician in the following year ; the King ex- 
pressing his satisfaction at his election when he signed it, 
and proving his estimation of his skill by himself sitting 
for a bust. That of Dr. Johnson soon followed, and has 
ever since been admired, the Doctor himself admitting, 
" It is very like me ; and there can be no doubt that the 
sculptor has great skill in his art." 



CH. VI ] JOSEPH NOLLEKEXS 219 

By this time Nollekens had amassed some 20,000 by 
frugal, simple habits, hard industry, and worldly prudence. 
He now sought a partner in Mary Welsh, the daughter of 
a magistrate, a tall, light-haired beauty, with a small 
fortune, whose fine figure contrasted with his short and 
ill-shaped frame. They lived happily together, practising, 
by mutual consent, the extreme of frugality in their 
home-life. The only difference between them was in 
their religious faith, he still attending the Eoman Catholic 
chapel, while his wife proceeded to the parish church. 
Nollekens found that the taste of his day was not for 
poetical sculpture, but for portraiture, and devoted him- 
self chiefly to making busts, his prices for which rose to 
150 guineas. He occasionally laboured on works of 
fancy, however, among which were ' Cupid and Pysche,' 
' Bacchus,' ' Peetus and Arria,' and five Venuses, one of 
which, known as the ' Eockingham Venus,' representing her 
anointing her hair, was regarded by him as his best work 
in that style. Monumental sculpture also fell to his 
share ; and when the Government gave a commission for 
a monument in Westminster Abbey to the commanders 
who fell in Rodney's great battle on the 12th April, 1782 
(Captains Manners, Bayne, and Blair), the choice of the 
Council of the Eoyal Academy (who were requested to 
nominate the sculptor to execute it) fell upon Nollekens. 
Another similar work was the monument to Mrs. Howard 
of Corby Castle a design of great beauty, pathetic in 
conception and elegant and tasteful in execution ; for this 
he received 2000. The statue of Pitt (the face from a 
mask taken after death), now in the Senate House at 
Cambridge, produced him 3000 guineas. 

To extreme old age Nollekens continued actively at 
-work even as late as 181 G, when he was nearly eighty. 
His wife died in the following year ; and all his early 
friends having passed away, the rich old man was now 
surrounded by those who desired to obtain a share of his 
fortune. He was observed to be more liberal than 



220 HISTORY OF THE EOYAL ACADEMY [Cn. VI. 

formerly. One day, when weak and ill, he asked his 
nurse, " Is there any one with whom I am acquainted 
that would be the better of a little money any person 
that wants a little money to do them good ? " and he 
sent 10 to each of the persons she named. He was 
kind to his servants, increasing his annual presents to 
them on his birthday, sometimes to as much as 20 
a-piece. In 1819 he visited the Eoyal Academy Exhi- 
bition for the last time in a sedan chair, accompanied by 
Chantrey. He gave those who helped him to his coach 
a guinea each, took off* his hat, and bade farewell to the 
Academy, and gradually declined in strength, until at 
length he passed away in his 86th year, on the 23rd 
of April, 1823. He was buried in Paddington Old 
Churchyard, and a tablet, executed by Behnes, is erected 
in the chancel of the church to his memory. 

Great anxiety was felt to learn the contents of his will. 
When it was opened it was found that some 6000 was 
distributed among his humble people and assistants ; 
100 each to his executors, Sir William Beechey and 
J. T. Smith ; and the remainder of his vast fortune, of 
more than 200,000, between his friends Mr. Francis 
Palmer, and Francis Douce, the well-known antiquary. 
An oddity of manner was natural to him, and his some- 
what uncouth demeanour and freedom of speech rather 
increased than detracted from his popularity. In the 
course of his practice he executed 100 busts and many 
duplicates ; all were truthful and simple, unaffected and 
elegant wanting, perhaps, in those of men, the power of 
expressing vigour of thought, and in those of women, the 
softness of female beauty ; but he will be remembered by 
these works when his poetic and monumental sculptures 
are forgotten. 

JOHN BACOJS", E.A., was born at Southampton on the 24th 
of November, 1740. His father carried on the business 
of a cloth-worker, and after a short school education his 



CH. VI.] JOHN BACON 221 

son began to assist him in his trade. In 1755 he was 
apprenticed to Mr. Crispe, a porcelain manufacturer in Bow 
churchyard, from whom he learned the art of painting 
on China, and also of modelling little ornamental figures. 
It would seem that by reverse of fortune his parents were 
even at this time mainly dependent on his exertions. 
Many sculptors were in the habit of sending their models 
to this pottery to be burnt, and from the sight of them, 
Bacon's ardent mind determined his future occupation ; 
and indeed the transition from modelling to sculpture was 
in itself so natural that he had only to imitate the objects 
he admired to enter upon his new career. To him has 
been ascribed the discovery of the art of making statues 
in artificial stone ; but although the invention was pro- 
bably of an earlier date, he is unquestionably entitled to 
the credit of having facilitated the process of that art, and 
of rendering it popular. When he thought he had made 
sufficient progress to venture on a display of his works, 
without relinquishing his means of maintenance, he sent 
one of them to the Society of Arts, as a competitor for 
one of its premiums ; and so rapid was his progress, that 
he gained no less than nine premiums from that Society 
in the next few years. The first, in 1758, was for a 
figure of ' Peace,' and several of his early productions, 
1 Mars,' ' Venus,' ' Narcissus,' &c. are still in possession 
of the Society. 

About the year 1768 he began to work in marble, 
and invented an instrument now in general use for trans- 
ferring the form of the model to the marble with a cor- 
rectness till then unknown, thereby rendering the execu- 
tion of the work more a mechanical operation, and leaving 
his mind at liberty for the practice of design. In 17G9 
he accepted employment in Coade's artificial stone works, 
at Lambeth, where groups and statues, keystones, wreaths 
of flowers, and other ornamental works, were modelled, 
moulded, arid burnt. On the institution of the Eoyal 
Academy he enrolled himself as a student, and received 



222 HISTOEY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. VI. 

in 1769, from the hands of the President, the first gold 
medal for sculpture awarded by the Academy, for his 
bas-relief of ' Eneas escaping from Troy.' In 1770 he was 
made an Associate, and in 1778 a Eoyal Academician. 

The celebrity he attained by his early works (and espe- 
cially by his cast of a statue of Mars, exhibited in 1771, 
of which he subsequently made a copy in marble for 
Lord Yarborough) induced Dr. Markham, afterwards 
Archbishop of York, to give him a commission for a bust 
of the King, for the hall of Christ Church, Oxford. While 
modelling this bust, his Majesty inquired if he had ever 
been out of England, and on receiving a reply in the 
negative, said he was glad of it, for he would be the 
greater ornament to his country. The admirable execu- 
tion of this bust gained him the Eoyal patronage, and 
shortly afterwards a commission to execute a copy of it 
for the University of Gottingen, a third for the Prince of 
Wales, and a fourth for the Society of Antiquaries. 

In 1773 he married Miss Wade, a lady to whom he 
had been long attached, and removed from his first hum- 
ble studio in Wardour Street to a new house at No. 17, 
Newman Street. His wife died three years afterwards, 
having given birth to five children. In the following 
year he was married to Miss Holland, by whom he also 
had three children. 

In 1777 he was engaged to execute a monument to the 
memory of Dr. Guy, the founder of Guy's Hospital ; another 
of Mrs. Withers, for Worcester, and some marble figures 
for the Duke of Richmond. These led to his being em- 
ployed by the City of London to execute the monument to 
the memory of the Earl of Chatham, for Guildhall. In 
1778 he completed the beautiful monument to the memory 
of Mrs. Draper (the ' Eliza' of Sterne), in the Cathedral of 
Bristol. From this time his occupation was incessant. 
He was employed by public bodies and private indivi- 
duals ; and so numerous are his works, that to enumerate 
them all, or to specify the precise order in which they 



CH. VI.] JOHN BACON 223 

appeared, would be difficult. Among the principal may 
be mentioned, in addition to those already referred to, 
the monument to Lord Chatham in Westminster Abbey, 
erected by the King and Parliament at a cost of 6000 l ; 
the statues of Dr. Johnson (1785), John Howard and Sir 
William Jones (1795), in St. Paul's Cathedral ; the two 
groups on the front of Somerset House, and the bronze 
figure of ' Thames,' in the courtyard ; the figures in the 
pediment of the late East India House ; a statue of Judge 
Blackstone for All Souls' College, Oxford, and one of 
Henry VI. in the Ante-Chapel at Eton ; Lord Cornwallis 
at Calcutta ; and Dr. Anderson and the Earl and Countess 
of Effinpham at Jamaica. He felt that his best works 

t/ 

were his statues, and he had the good sense to disclaim 
any pretensions to that knowledge of the antique which 
he was accused of wanting, asserting that in the study of 
living nature he sought for excellence, as the ancients 
used to do. The plain realities of life were within his 
grasp works of imagination requiring refined percep- 
tion of beauty, were not. 

He had throughout his life followed the Methodist pro- 
fession, and sustained a high character for religion and 
morality. He wrote a series of epitaphs with a view to 
correct the common violation of taste in such compo- 
sitions, and in his letters and conversation he always 
infused a religious element. In the prime of fame and 
health he was suddenly attacked with inflammation in 
the bowels, which proved fatal in less than two days, and 
he died at his house in Newman Street, on the 6th of 
August, 1799. At the time several of his monuments 



1 It is stated that Bacon prepared sculptors for Public Works, he gave 
a large model for this monument, his orethren some offence by this 
and availed himself of the Kind's manoeuvre, and yet more by a pro- 
favour to show it to him privately, posal to erect all the Government 
and thus to obtain the order for the monuments at a certain percentage 
work. As it was always the privi- below the usual price a proposal 
lege of the Koyal Academy to select which was very properly rejected, 
one of the designs of the competing 



224 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. VI. 

were left unfinished ; these he directed should be com- 
pleted by his second son, John Bacon. 

His wealth the well-earned fruits of a life of industry 
amounting to 60,000, he divided equally among his 
children. He was buried in Whitfield's Chapel, in 
Tottenham Court Koad, London ; and the following in- 
scription, written by himself, was engraved on a plain 
tablet over his grave : " What I was, as an artist, seemed 
of some importance while I lived ; but what I really was, 
as a believer in Jesus Christ, is the only thing of im- 
portance to me now." 

THOMAS BANKS,R.A.,was born onthe J22nd of December, 
1735, at Lambeth, and was the son of the land-steward 
of the Duke of Beaufort, who intended to educate him 
for the profession of an architect, and placed him under 
Kent for that purpose. With him he remained seven 
years, but young Banks had formed a decided preference 
for sculpture, and stimulated by the offers made by the 
Society of Arts of premiums for models in sculpture, he 
devoted himself to the study of that art, and obtained 
several of the honours conferred by the Society. Until 
the institution of the Eoyal Academy, he appears to have 
been self-taught as a sculptor. He entered the schools of 
the Academy in 1769, and in 1770 obtained the gold 
medal for his bas-relief of ' The Eape of Proserpine.' 
In 1771 his reputation was increased by a group repre- 
senting ' Mercury, Argus, and lo ; ' and in the following 
year he was sent to Rome, as the travelling-student from 
the Academy for three years, and through the liberality 
of his father, and the portion obtained with his wife 
(Miss Wooton), his resources were not limited to the 
allowance from the Academy. His first work executed 
in marble was ' Caractacus before Claudius,' a bas-relief 
both grand and simple, which was long one of the orna- 
ments of the Duke of Buckingham's seat at Stowe : 
'Pysche Stealing the Golden Flame,' intended for a portrait 



CH. VI. ] THOMAS BANKS 225 

of the Princess Sophia of Gloucester, and a statue of 
4 Love seizing the Human Soul' followed, both being 
distinguished by grace and symmetry of form, accuracy 
of contour, and classical elegance. While in Eome he 
discovered that the Italian sculptors were far more skilful 
in the mere working of the marble than our own, and 
he took lessons in carving of Cappizoldi, a distinguished 
Eoman sculptor. He returned to England in 1775, and 
took up his abode at No. 5 Newman. Street. Oxford Street. 
He was elected an Associate in 1784, and a Eoyal Aca- 
demician in the following year. f] 

Although he had acquired fame, he had hitherto found 
little profit, for neither in Eome nor in this country was 
his success equal to his expectations Nollekens being at 
that time the established favourite for busts, and Bacon 
for statuaiy. In 1784, -therefore, he accepted an invitation 
from the Empress Catherine, and went to Eussia. 'Cupid 
with a Moth,' executed for the Empress, was his principal 
work in that country. He received commissions for one 
or two others, to represent ' The Armed Neutrality,' but 
the subject being uncongenial to him, he returned after 
two years to England. His first work after his return 
was 'The Mourning Achilles,' a cast greatly admired 
both for its classic beauty and its natural truth. It was 
presented after his death to the British Institution, where 
it may still be seen. Among his many subsequent per- 
formances, the best of those not yet mentioned were an 
alto-relievo of ' Thetis consoling Achilles,' and another of 
4 Shakspeare, attended by Poetry and Painting,' executed 
for Alderman Boydell, and now in front of the British 
Institution in Pall Mall. The ' Falling Titan,' which he 
presented to the Eoyal Academy on his election, is a very 
fine production. 

His first production in monumental sculpture excited 
great attention, this was a memorial to the only 
daughter of Sir B. Boothby, now in Ashbounie Church, 
Derbyshire. The child is represented on her couch 

VOL. i. u 



226 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. VI. 

asleep ; and when the monument was exhibited at 
Somerset House, placed in the middle of the room, it 
attracted the especial notice of Queen Charlotte and the 
Princesses, and awakened deep feelings in many a mother's 
heart. The tomb to Woollett the engraver, in the cloisters 
of Westminster " Abbey, was his next work. Later in 
life he executed the monuments of Captains Westcott and 
Burgess in St. Paul's, and of Sir Eyre Coote in Westminster 
Abbey, in which with very questionable taste, he attempted 
to improve the poetic feeling of our public monuments. 
His strength was in subjects purely ideal, but he became 
weak in applying his lofty imagination to the plain 
realities of life. 

Banks died on the 2nd of February, 1805, and was 
buried on the south side of Paddington Churchyard. A 
tablet was set up in Westminster Abbey bearing this 
inscription ': " In Memory of Thomas Banks, whose 
superior abilities in the profession added a lustre to the 
arts of his country, and whose character as a man reflected 
honour on human nature." As he advanced in years he 
grew strict in religious duties, and by his purity of life 
and elevation of intellect, was held in great regard by 
many friends. After his death, Flaxrnan delivered an 
eloquent discourse on his genius and character.^ He lived 
simply, but was always generous in rendering personal 
visits of sympathy and help to the poor, and in encou- 
raging art in all its forms. He made a collection of 
drawings, &c., by the old masters, and left behind him 

i ar g e number of masterly sketches of his own. 

The two Architects who were added to the number of 
Eoyal Academicians during the Presidency of Sir Joshua 
Eeynolds, were James Wyatt and John Yenn. 

JAMES WYATT, E.A., was one of the most extensively 
patronised architects of the last century ; but although 
the commissions he received were both numerous and 



CH. VI.] JAMES WYATT 227 

extensive, he was far from accumulating a large fortune, 
and was often involved in pecuniary difficulties. He was 
the son of a farmer, who was also a dealer in timber, and 
was born at Barton Constable, in Staffordshire, in 1746. 
While quite a boy he so forcibly attracted the attention of 
Lord Bagot, by the germ of talent he discovered in him, 
that when that nobleman went to Italy as Ambassador to 
the Pope, he took James Wyatt with him (although 
then only fourteen) that he might have an opportunity of 
studying architecture in Eome. There he spent three or 
four years examining and measuring the chief remains of 
ancient architecture. Thence he proceeded to Venice, 
where he studied for two years under Vincentini, an archi- 
tect and painter, and returned to England in 1766. In 
1770 he was elected an Associate of the Eoyal Academy, 
and at that time commenced the work by which he first 
acquired celebrity, the old Pantheon in Oxford Street, 
which was finished and opened in 1772. It was fitted up 
in a style of great splendour, and the ' Eotunda ' or great 
room was the rendezvous of the gay and fashionable 
world so much so that Walpole called it the winter 
Eanelagh of the metropolis. It was unfortunately burnt 
down in January, 1792, and no detailed drawings were 
preserved of the interior, as designed by Wyatt. The 
front and portico in Oxford Street were rebuilt and altered 
after the fire. 

The fame which this resort of the fashion of the day 
obtained for its architect, led to his receiving numerous 
commissions to erect mansions in various parts of the 
country, which are regarded as great improvements on the 
usual designs then in vogue for private residences, not so 
much in architectural form, as in the superior accom- 
modation and refinement of comfort, which.he introduced 
into domestic buildings. There is a degree of sameness 
in his simple Greco-Italian residences, which may per- 
haps be accounted for by the statement which is made, 
that his engagements were so numerous that he gene- 

Q 2 



228 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. VI. 

rally sketched out his design in the carriage as he 
travelled to the place where it was to be erected. In 
1778 he was employed in making additions to some of 
the colleges at Oxford, and having turned his attention 
for some years chiefly to the study of Gothic archi- 
tecture, he made his first effort in this style at Lee near 
Canterbury, in the mansion he erected for Mr. Barrett. 

In this new manner, Wyatt gained as much popularity 
as in his former one ; and if subsequent architects have far 
excelled him, it must not be forgotten that we owe to 
him in a great measure the practical revival of the 
Gothic style ; for that which his successors found de- 
lineated and measured for them on paper ready for re- 
ference, he had to draw and measure for himself, and 
thus to acquire by great labour, a knowledge of all 
its elaborate details. In this style he was extensively 
employed at Oxford, in the observatory, the library of 
Oriel College, and alterations at Balliol ; and also in making 
restorations at Salisbury and Lichfield Cathedrals. Un- 
fortunately he was reckless in dealing with relics of 
antiquity, and many of his incongruous adaptations of 
pieces of monuments and bits of altar screens, to form 
" restorations," have earned for him among antiquarians 
and archaeologists the name of "the destroyer." In 1795 
he erected Fonthill Abbey for Mr. Beckford, and in the 
following year the castellated Eoyal Military Academy at 
Woolwich. The latter commission he owed to the fact 
that in 1796 he succeeded Sir William Chambers as Sur- 
veyor-General, and as such, was subsequently employed 
at the House of Lords, and at Windsor Castle by 
George III. In 1801 he made designs for Downing 
College, which were not, however, approved, and were 
severely censured by Mr. T. Hope. The addition of 
wings to the House at Chiswick ; a Gothic palace com- 
menced at Kew, and since demolished ; Cashiobury ; and 
Mausolems at Cobham and Brocklesby, were among his 
later works. He died on 5th September, 1813, from 



CH. VI.] JOHN YENN 229 

the effects of an accident, having been overturned in a 
carriage, while travelling from Bath to London. He felt 
a widow and four sons, one of whom was the architect .-.. ji ' 
of Drury Lane Theatre. He became an E.A. in 1785, (. w^/- 
and in 1805, during the period in which the office of ( 
President of the Eoyal Academy was vacated by Ben- 
jamin West, it was filled by Mr. Wyatt but it can only 
be regarded as a temporary appointment during a party 
strife, until the division among the members was healed, 
and peace restored. 

JOHN YENX, E.A., was a student at the Eoyal Academy 
in 1769. In 1771 he gained the gold medal for the best 
architectural design for a " nobleman's villa," and was 
elected an Associate in 1774. By the designs he ex- 
hibited at the Eoyal Academy, he seems to have been 
chiefly employed in domestic architecture, erecting 
mansions in town and country for the nobility and gentry. 
He was elected a Eoyal Academician in 1791, and was 
appointed treasurer in 1796, holding the office by special 
warrant under the King's sign-manual, in succession to 
Sir William Chambers. This appointment he resigned 
in 1820, and he died in the following year. 



CHAPTER VII. 

ASSOCIATES ELECTED DURING THE PRESIDENCY OF SIR JOSHUA 
REYNOLDS, WHO DID NOT SUBSEQUENTLY BECOME ROYAL 
ACADEMICIANS. 

Associate Engravers: T. MAJOR, S. F. RAYENET, P. C. CANOT, J. BROWNE, 
T. CHAMBERS, V. GREEN, F. HA WARD, J. COLLYER, J. HEATH. 

Associates: J. GEORGE, E. MARTIN, A. ZTJCCHI, M. A. HOOKER, W. PARS, 
N. T. BALL, B. REBECCA, W. TOMKINS, T. ELMER, E. EDWARDS, 
W. PARRY, J. H. MORTIMER, J. NIXON, H. HONE, G. STFBBS, 
J. WRIGHT, E. STEVENS, JOSEPH BONOMI. 

IT was determined very early in the history of the 
Eoyal Academy that the claim to full academic 
honours should be reserved for those who had previously 
been recognised as deserving of the rank of associates. 
Consequently in the preceding chapter we have referred 
to a large number of those who were elected associates 
during the presidency of Sir Joshua Reynolds, for within 
the same period no less than thirty-one were chosen to 
fill the higher grade of Royal Academicians. Eight 
others, who were chosen associates prior to 1791, were 
afterwards elected to full membership, and of them we 
shall have to give an account hereafter. These were Philip 
Reinagle, W. R. Bigg, Sir F. Bourgeois, Sir R. Smirke, 
Thomas Stothard, Sir T. Lawrence, Henry Tresham, and 
N. Marchant. 

Fifty-eight associates were elected between 1770 and 
1791. Nine of these were engravers in the separate class 
appointed for that branch of art, 31 have already been 
mentioned as Royal Academicians, and 18 others re- 



CH. VII.] MAJOR RAVENET 231 

mained in the rank of associates, sixteen of these being 
painters, and two architects. 

The ASSOCIATE ENGRAVERS first elected (in 1770) were 
Thomas Major, Simon Eavenet, P. C. Canot, John Browne, 
and Thomas Chambers. The full complement of six was 
obtained in 1775, by the addition of Valentine Green. 
Three death vacancies were subsequently filled as follows : 
in 1783, Francis Haward ; 1786, Joshua Collyer ; and in 
1791, James Heath. 

THOMAS MAJOR, A.E., was born in 1720. In early life 
he resided in Paris, where he engraved several plates after 
Wouvermani, Berghem, and others. On his return to 
England, he was employed on a variety of subjects, 
portraits of Earl Granville, Cardinal Pole, and others; 
landscapes after Claude and Poussin ; and general subjects 
after Murillo, Teniers, &c., all of which he produced in 
a neat, firm style, displaying good qualities of effect and 
execution, and especially a feathery lightness in his etching 
of foliage. In 1786 he published a set of twenty-four 
prints, after the designs of J. B. Borra, illustrating the 
4 Euins of Pa3stum.' His merits as an engraver are con- 
siderable, and for several years he held the appointment 
of seal-engraver to the King. He was an early friend of 
Gainsborough, and engraved his fine 'Madonna.' In 
1770 he was elected as an Associate Engraver of the 
Royal Academy. He died at his house in Tavistock Row, 
Covent Garden, on the 30th of December, 1799, in his 
80th year. 

SIMON FRANCIS RAVENET, A.E., was a Frenchman, and 
was born in Paris in 1 706. He was a pupil of Le Bas, and 
practised his art with considerable success in his own 
country, until invited by Hogarth to England, to take 
part with Baron and Scotin in executing the engravings 
from his pictures of * Marriage a, la Mode.' He settled in 



232 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [Cu. VII. 

London about 1750, and was largely employed among 
the booksellers, and also by Boy dell. He copied Hou- 
braken's portraits, for Smollett's " History of England ; " 
the ' Four Ages,' after Mercier ; ' Sophonisba ; ' and the 
4 Story of Tobias,' besides a variety of subjects after the 
great Italian masters, and several portraits by Eeynolds 
and others. He gave both colour and brilliancy to his 
engravings, and finished them with great precision. His 
son also followed the same profession, and W. W. Eyland 
was his pupil. He was elected an Associate Engraver in 
1770, and died in April, 1774. He was buried in Old 
St. Pancras Churchyard. 

PETEE CHAKLES CANOT, A.E., was also a Frenchman, and 
was born in 1710. He came to England in 1740, and 
resided in this country during the remainder of his life. 
He engraved a large number of landscapes : among them 
two views of Westminster and London Bridge, after Scott ; 
a series of marine views and sea-engagements, after 
Paton ; twelve sea-pieces by Peter Monainy ; Views on 
the St. Lawrence Eiver, by Swain ; and several works of 
Vandevelde, Teniers, Pillement and Claude. His plates 
were very popular, and many of them, especially his sea- 
pieces, possess great merit. He was elected an Associate 
Engraver in 1770, and died in Kentish Town in 1777. 

JOHN BROWNE, A.E., was born at Oxford in 1742, and 
was a pupil of Tierney at the same time with William 
Woollett, who worked with him in a style of landscape 
engraving, effected by the union of etching and the graving 
tool, which greatly increased the polish and effect of their 
works. Many of the plates he etched were finished by 
Woollett : among them, ' Celedon and Amelia,' from 
Thomson's " Seasons ; " the ' Jocund Peasants,' &c. Those 
which are exclusively his own are etched and engraved 
in a masterly style. His best work is perhaps ' St. John 
preaching in the Wilderness.' He displayed great judg- 



CH. VII.] CHAMBERS GREEN 233 

ment in the selection of his subjects, chosen chiefly from 
the landscapes of Claude, Poussin, Eubens, and Hobbema. 
He was elected an Associate Engraver in 1770, and died 
at Wandsworth on the 2nd of October, 1801, in his 60th 
year. His widow received a pension from the Academy 
for thirty years from that date. Boydell and other print- 
sellers gave him ample employment, and in private life 
he bore a high character for uprightness, integrity and 
good nature. 

THOMAS CHAMBERS, A.E., was born in London about the 
year 1724. He was of an Irish family, and studied draw- 
ing and engraving both in Dublin and Paris. Alderman 
Boydell employed him to engrave several large plates for 
him, of which the best are ' St. Martin dividing his Cloak,' 
after Eubens, and ' A Concert,' after Caravaggio. There 
was great freedom and firmness in his manner, but the 
effect was not pleasing, and his drawing was not al- 
together correct. He engraved several portraits for the 
booksellers, and most of those in Walpole's "Anecdotes 
of Painters." His principal works are ' Mrs. Quarrington 
as St. Agnes,' after Eeynolds, and the ' Death of Marshal 
Turenne.' He was elected an Associate Engraver in 1770. 
Occasionally he was the assistant of Grignion, but he did 
not prosper in his profession, and unhappily, being 
pressed by his landlord for the rent owing for the rooms 
he occupied in Little St. Martin's Lane, he left his home 
in distress of mind, and his body was found floating in 
the river, near Battersea, a few day afterwards. This 
happened in 1789. 

VALENTINE GREEN, A.E., was celebrated as one of the most 
eminent mezzotint engravers of the early English School. 
He was born at Hales Owen, near Birmingham, in 1739. 
His father intended him to follow the profession of the 
law, and he was accordingly placed with a practitioner at 
Ensham, in Worcestershire ; but disliking this employment, 



234 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. VII. 

after spending two years in a lawyer's office, he left it, 
without his father's concurrence, and became the pupil 
of a line engraver at Worcester. In 1765 he came to 
London, and began to turn his attention to mezzotint, in 
which style, without instruction, he attained to rare excel- 
lence. M'Ardell and Earlom share with him the credit 
of carrying this branch of the art to a perfection never 
previously attained. He acquired' great reputation by 
his many prints after West, especially two large plates, 
published a few years after his arrival in London, of the 
' Eeturn of Eegulus to Carthage ' and ' Hannibal swearing 
Enmity to the Eomans,' two of West's best works, 
originally painted for George III., and now at Hampton 
Court. One of Green's masterpieces is the ' Stoning of 
St. Stephen,' also after West. In 1775 he was elected 
one of the six Associate Engravers of the Eoyal Academy, 
and in 1782 published a "Eeview of the Polite Arts in 
France, compared with their Present State in England." 
He also wrote the " History of the City of Worcester." 

In 1789 he was granted the exclusive privilege of 
engraving the pictures of the Diisseldorf Gallery by the 
Elector of Bavaria, who conferred on him the title of 
Hof Kupfersticher (court engraver). By the year 1795 
he had published twenty-two prints of that collection; 
but, unfortunately, when the city was besieged by the 
French, in 1798, the castle and gallery were demolished, 
and his property and prospects of remuneration for his 
labours at once destroyed. He executed sixteen plates 
from Sir Joshua Eeynolds's portrait-pieces, and a like 
number of plates from West's historical subjects. Besides 
these, he engraved several large plates after Eubens, 
including the ' Descent from the Cross,' at Antwerp ; and 
by unremitting exertion, during a period of nearly forty 
years, produced about 400 plates after the most celebrated 
ancient and modern painters. On the foundation of the 
British Institution, in 1805, he was appointed keeper, and 
gained alike the respect of the public and of the artists 



CH. VIL] HAWARD COLLYER 235 

by his zealous exertions in that capacity. He died in St. 
Alban's Street, London, on the 6th of July, 1813, in his 
74th year. 

FRANCIS HAWARD, A.E., was born on 19th of April, 1759, 
and became, in 1776, a student at the Eoyal Academy, of 
which he was elected an Associate Engraver in 1783. He 
was chiefly employed in copying the portraits made by 
Sir Joshua Eeynolds, and the fancy pieces designed by 
Angelica Kauffman. One of the best specimens of En- 
glish engraving is the copy he made of Eeynolds's famous 
picture of ' Mrs. Siddons as the Tragic Muse.' Other 
admirable examples of his style are the ' Infant Academy ' 
and ' Cyrnon and Iphigenia,' after the same master. Of 
his portraits, the best is that of the Prince of Wales, 
1793. He lived at 29 Marsh Street, Lambeth, and 
died there in 1797. His widow afterwards received a 
pension from the Eoyal Academy for forty-two years. 

JOSEPH COLLYEE, A.E., was born in September, 1748, 
and was a pupil of Anthony Walker. On the death of his 
master he at once sought to form a connection among the 
booksellers, his neat style of engraving suiting admirably 
for book-illustration. In this way he obtained adequate 
employment, and subsequently attracted the notice of 
Alderman Boydell, for whom he made an engraving after 
D. Teniers, and also of the ' Irish Volunteers,' by Wheatley, 
in which he took a higher rank in his profession. Subse- 
quently he won great praise by his copies of Sir J. 
Eeynolds's ' Venus ' and ' Una,' in the manner of chalk, 
closely imitating, not only the character of the originals, 
but also the touches and pencil of the master. He also 
engraved, with great success, the ' Girl with a Cat ; ' the 
portrait of ' Miss Palmer,' the niece of Sir Joshua ; and of 
Eeynolds, by himself. He became a student of the 
Eoyal Academy in 1771, and was elected an Associate 
Engraver in 1786. Subsequently he was appointed por- 



236 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [Cii. VII 

trait-engraver to Queen Charlotte. The date of his 
decease is not known. 

JAMES HEATH, A.E., born in 1765, was a pupil of Collyer, 
and must have derived from his instruction some portion 
of that talent which distinguished his style. His numerous 
engravings gave a new impetus to the then rising taste 
for book-illustration, since his execution far excelled that 
of his predecessors in the same class of works. In the 
beginning of his career he engraved several portraits 
published in "Lord Orford's Works and Correspondence." 
Subsequently the designs of Stothard were his especial 
study, and both engraver and artist gained celebrity by the 
perfect rendering which the burin of the one gave to the 
graceful drawings of the other. The publications of 
Harrison and Bell, in which these prints appeared, were 
eagerly sought for, and are still valued for the sake of these 
illustrations. His larger plates are the ' Death of Major 
Pierson,' after Singleton ; the ' Dead Soldier,' after Wright ; 
the 'Eiots in 1780,' after Wheatley; the 'Death of 
Nelson,' after West ; and several scenes from ' Shak- 
speare,' after Smirke and Peters. The print of the 
' Canterbury Pilgrims,' after Stothard, was also completed 
by him. He was elected an Associate Engraver in 1 7 91 , and 
was appointed engraver to the King. He died in 1835. 

Passing from the associate engravers elected during 
the presidency of Sir Joshua Eeynolds, we now have 
to notice the sixteen painters elected as associates during 
the same period, who did not subsequently attain to the 
higher rank of Eoyal Academicians. These were elected 
as follows: in 1770, George James, Elias Martin, 
Antonio Zucchi, Michael Angelo Eooker, and William 
Pars ; in 1771, N. T. Dall, B. Eebecca, and William 
Tomkins; in 1772, Stephen Elmer; in 1773, Edward 
Edwards; in 1776, William Parry; in 1778, John 
Mortimer and James Nixon ; in 1779, Horace Hone ; 



CH. VII.] . JAMES MAETIN ZUCCHI 237 

in 1780, George Stubbs; and in 1781, Joseph Wright, 
of Derby. 

GEORGE JAMES, A.E.A., was a portrait painter. He 
studied for some years in Eome, and was elected an Asso- 
ciate in 1770. He commenced his profession in Dean 
Street, Soho, but afterwards, in 1780, removed to Bath. 
There he found ample employment, and during many 
years contributed a large number of portraits, and some 
fancy pieces, carefully painted, and not inelegant in design 
and execution, to the exhibitions. He inherited property 
from his grandfather, who built Meard's Court, in Dean 
Street, and married a lady of fortune ; so that he was, 
to a great degree, independent of his profession, nor did 
he take a very high rank in it. A few years before his 
death he went to reside at Boulogne, and there, in com- 
mon with many more of our countrymen, fell a victim 
to Eobespierre's tyranny, and was confined in a dismal 
prison. His constitution sank under this cruel oppression, 
and he died early in the year 1795. 

ELIAS MARTIN, A.E.A., was admitted a student of the 
Eoyal Academy in 1769, and an Associate in 1770 ; and 
appears to have divided his talents between landscapes and 
portraits. The former seem to have been chiefly views 
in this country and in Sweden, some of them of an 
architectural character, the latter, chalk drawings of 
ladies and children. The period of his decease is un- 
known ; but his name was not removed from the list of 
associates till 1832, it being supposed that he was then 
dead, sixty-two years having elapsed since his election. 

ANTONIO ZUCCHI, A.E.A., an Italian artist, long resident 
in England, was an exhibitor at the Eoyal Academy from 
its foundation, contributing views of ruins of ancient 
temples, and similar works. He became an Associate in 
1770. He was brought to this country by the brothers 



238 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. VII. 

Adam, the architects, who employed him to paint decora- 
3 t*~ ti ns f r tne edifices erected by them. He painted ceilings 
fAAi*or the Queen's house, in St. James Park (old Buckingham 
*-c House), and at Osterley Park >/v These works were exe- 
f*4jbttted in a light and pleasant manner, and were chiefly 
scenes of poetic and mythological history. He became, 
in 17glj the husba^ O f Angelica Kauffman ; but the 
union did not prove a happy one. In August of that 
year he went with her to Eome, where he continued to 
reside till his death in December, 1795. 

MICHAEL AN T GELO BOOKER, A.E.A.,was the son of Edward 
Eooker, an engraver of architectural subjects, and was 
born in London in 1743. His father first instructed him 
in the art of engraving, and he was subsequently a pupil 
of Paul Sandby, who taught him landscape and water- 
colour painting, and whose style he very closely followed, 
drawing with great care, and enlivening his scenes with 
well-sketched figures. In 1769 he became a student at 
the Eoyal Academy, and was one of the first associates 
elected in the following year. In 1772 he exhibited a 
view of ' Temple Bar,' which possessed considerable 
merit, and was much admired. His views of the colleges, 
which he engraved for the Oxford Almanac for several con- 
secutive years (for each of which he received fifty guineas), 
are still admired as works of great merit. They comprise 
some of the best views taken of that interesting city. 
For several years Eooker was the principal scene-painter 
for the Haymarket Theatre. He died on the 3rd of 
March, 1801, and was interred in the burial-ground of 
St. Martin-in-the-Fields, in the Kentish Town Eoad. The 
remainder of his drawings were sold after his death for 
1240. 

WILLIAM PARS, A.E. A., was born in London in 1742, 
and first learnt the rudiments of art at Shipley's drawing 
school, in the Strand. Subsequently he studied in the 



CH. VII. ] PAHS DALL 239 

St. Martin's Lane Academy ; and on the opening of the 
Eoyal Academy, became a student there. In 1764 he 
gained the Society of Arts' twenty-guinea premium for 
historical painting. When the Dilettanti Society proposed 
that a party of gentlemen should proceed to Greece to make 
further researches among the remains of antiquity to be 
found in Ionia, Pars was chosen draughtsman to the 
expedition, and was absent from England from this cause 
for three years. Subsequently he accompanied the then 
Lord Palmerston on a tour through Italy and Switzerland, 
to make drawings of the most remarkable ruins and 
antiquities ; maiiy of these were engraved in aquatinta 
by Paul Sandby. He was elected an Associate in 1770, 
and in 1774 was chosen by the Dilettanti Society to 
receive the pension for a certain number of years which 
they then determined to bestow upon some rising artist, 
to enable him to complete his studies in Eome. There 
he remained, pursuing his studies, until the year 1782, 
when he died of a fever, which abruptly terminated his 
career in his 40th year. 

NICHOLAS THOMAS DALL, A.E.A., was a native of Denmark, 
who settled in London about 1760. Eight years afterwards 
he obtained the first premium for the best landscape 
painting, given by the Society of Arts. He was chiefly 
occupied in painting scenes for Covent Garden Theatre ; 
but he nevertheless found time, after his election as an 
Associate in 1771, to contribute a large number of land- 
scapes to the Eoyal Academy exhibitions, chiefly views in 
Yorkshire, where he was extensively employed by the 
Duke of Bolton, Lord Harewood, and the owners of 
property in that county. He died in Great Newport 
Street, in the spring of 1777, leaving a widow and 
children, for whose aid the managers of Covent Garden 
Theatre gave a benefit, out of respect to the artist. 

BIAGIO EEBECCA, A.E.A., was a student at the Eoyal 



240 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. VII. 

Academy in 1769, and was chosen an Associate in 1771. 
In that year he contributed a painting of ' Hagar and 
Ishmael ' to the exhibition, and ' A Sacrifice to Minerva ' 
in 1772, but nothing for several subsequent years. He also 
contributed towards the ornamentation of the new rooms 
of the Academy at Somerset House. He died in his lodg- 
ings in Oxford Street, aged seventy- three, on the 22nd 
of February, 1808. 

WILLIAM TOMKIXS, A.R A., the son and nephew of artists, 
was born in London, about the year 1730. In 1763 he 
obtained the second premium of twenty-five guineas for 
the best landscape, offered by the Society of Arts, and in 
1771 became an Associate of the Koyal Academy. He 
made some copies after Claude Lorraine, and from 
Hobbema, and other Dutch artists, and painted nu- 
merous landscapes, and views of gentlemen's seats, in 
the West and North of England ; also, a series of 
views, for which he received a commission from the Earl 
of Fife, of his lordship's seat in Scotland. He died in 
Queen Anne Street, East, on the 1st of January, 1792, 
leaving two sons, one of whom was celebrated as an 
engraver (a pupil of Bartolozzi), and the other also 
worked in aquatinta. 

STEPHEN ELMEE, A.E.A., elected an Associate in 1772, 
is principally remembered as a painter of dead game and 
objects of still-life, which he executed with a very bold 
pencil, and with striking fidelity to nature. He died in 
1796, at Farnham, in Surrey, where he resided during 
the greater part of his life. An exhibition of his works 
was made by his nephew in 1799, when 148 pictures 
were collected. Many of those remaining unsold were de- 
stroyed by fire in Gerrard Street, Soho, in February, 1801, 
together with a choice collection of prints by Woollett. 

EDWARD EDWARDS, A.E. A., was born on the 7th of March, 



CH. VII.] EDWARDS PARRY 241 

1738, in Castle Street, Leicester Square, where his father 
was a carver, at which trade his son was employed, till he 
showed a decided taste for drawing, when he took lessons 
from a master ; in 1759 was admitted a student at the 
Duke of Eichmoud's Gallery, and eventually became a 
member of the St. Martin's Lane Academy. Subsequently 
he was employed, both by the Society of Antiquaries and 
by Alderman Boydell, to make drawings from the works 
of the old masters. He contributed a scene from the 
" Two Gentlemen of Verona " to the Shakspeare Gallery, 
and painted Scriptural and classic subjects, and portraits, 
which he exhibited at the Eoyal Academy. He was one 
of the students in its schools from 1769, and was chosen 
an Associate in 1773. In 1775 he was employed by Mr. 
Udny, by whose aid he visited Italy, carefully studying 
art and nature in that country. On three occasions he 
obtained prizes from the Society of Arts for drawing, 
historical painting, and landscape. On the death of 
Samuel Wale he was appointed, in 1788, teacher of per- 
spective at the Academy, and continued to fulfil the duties 
of that office till his death. He published a treatise on 
the subject, and the " Anecdotes of Painters," bearing his 
name, which he compiled at intervals during his life, as a 
continuation to those of Walpole, and which contain much 
interesting information in regard to the history of art in 
this country at the commencement of the reign of King 
George III. He painted many excellent arabesques for 
the Hon. Charles Hamilton, at Bath, in 1782-3, and for 
Horace Walpole in the following year ; and finished, in 
1792, a series of fifty- two etchings, of various subjects. 
He died on the 19th of December, 1806, and was buried 
in Old St. Pancras Churchyard. 

WILLIAM PARRY, A.R.A., was born in London in 1742, and 
was the son of the celebrated blind Welsh haq)ist,for whose 
concerts he made a small etching, which served as a card 
of admittance, representing his father playing on the harp. 

VOL. i. R 

$ 



242 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. VII. 

First learning drawing in Mr. Shipley's school, he next 
studied from the antique in the Duke of Kichmond's 
Gallery, and afterwards became a pupil of Sir J. Eeynolds. 
About the same time he studied in the St. Martin's Lane 
Academy, and in 1769 entered the Koyal Academy 
schools. He was so fortunate as to gain several pre- 
miums from the Society of Arts, and to obtain the 
patronage of Sir W. W. Wynne, by whose generosity he 
was enabled to visit Italy in 1770. After four years he 
returned to England, and in 1776 was chosen an associate 
of the Eoyal Academy. For a year or two he practised 
portrait painting ; but meeting with little encouragement, 
he went back to Borne in 1778, and remained there for 
several years, until ill-health compelled him to return to 
England. He only survived a short time, and died on 
the 13th of February, 1791. 

JOHN HAMILTON MORTIMER, A.E.A., was born in 1741 at 
Eastbourne, Sussex, where his father was the collector of 
customs. From an uncle who was an itinerant artist, he 
acquired a strong inclination to become a painter, and 
his father gratified his wish by paying a hundred pounds 
premium to Hudson, to receive him as a pupil. He had 
already practised sketching near his rough sea-coast home ; 
now he desired to learn colouring, and finding he could 
do little with Hudson, he left him to study with Pine, a 
good colourist, and to draw from the antique in the 
Duke of Bichmond's gallery. There he gained the favour- 
able notice both of Cipriani and Moser, and the Duke 
wished to retain him to paint the walls and ceilings of his 
'mansions, after the fashion of those days. But Mortimer 
had a higher ambition, and disputed with Bomney, in 
1765, the claim to the prize of fifty guineas, offered by 
the Society of Arts for the best historical picture, in his 
painting of ' Edward the Confessor seizing his Mother's 
Treasures.' He subsequently had adjudged to him by the 
same society one hundred guineas for his picture of ' St. 



CH. Vn.] J. H. MORTIMER 243 

Paul converting the Britons,' which afterwards became 
the property of Dr. Bates, who presented it in 1778 to 
the church of Wycombe, Bucks. He acquired the 
friendship of Eeynolds, and attracted the notice of the 
King, for whom he painted a coach-panel, with a repre- 
sentation of the ' Battle of Agincourt ; ' and by his pictures 
of ' King John granting Magna Charta to the Barons,' 
' Vortigern and Eowena,' and other similar works, he 
successively increased his celebrity. 

Unfortunately his habits were dissipated, and his her- 
culean frame and handsome figure were shattered and 
spoiled by frequent over-indulgence and excess. Kepent- 
ing of these misdoings, he married, painted from his own 
experience 4 The Progress of Vice,' pointed the moral of 
his own changed feelings in the ' Progress of Virtue,' and 
leaving London life and its temptations, went to reside at 
Aylesbury. Here he lived a quiet, sober, and even reli- 
gious life. He came back to London in November 1778, 
took up his abode in Norfolk Street, Strand, and was 
apparently in improved health ; but on the 4th of February 
following he died from the effects of a sudden and severe 
attack of fever in the 38th year of his age. Al- 
though he had never exhibited at the Eoyal Academy, 
he had been chosen an Associate in 1778, and by the 
especial wish of the King was to have been raised to the 
highest honours of the Academy, when his career was thus 
suddenly closed. He was buried by the side of the altar 
in the church of High Wycombe, near the picture he 
painted. 

Mortimer was not a good colourist, and his portraits 
were not pleasing, although his drawings in black and 
white chalk were very effective. In design he was emi- 
nently successful, both in historical, and in wild fanciful 
subjects. He was especially celebrated for groups of 
banditti, the originals of which were the hordes of smug- 
glers on the coast near his early home. His rapid power 
of sketching made him popular as an illustrator of books 

B 2 



244 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [Cn. VII. 

and he also designed ' the Elevation of the Brazen Serpent 
in the Wilderness,' for the great window of Salisbury 
Cathedral, and cartoons for the stained glass in Brasenose 
College, Oxford. For fine drawing, ease and freedom of 
touch, few of his compeers excelled him ; but there was 
extravagance in some of his conceptions, and many of his 
best designs were marred by the cold dull colours with 
which he afterwards clothed them. 

JAMES NIXON, A.E.A, one of the first students at the 
Eoyal Academy, who was elected an Associate in 1778, was 
a portrait and miniature painter, and exhibited a variety 
of works in these styles at the exhibitions. He was also 
employed to paint many histrionic scenes, which he exe- 
cuted in a masterly style in oil-colour, and to illustrate 
popular poems, &c. He was limner to H.E.H. the 
Prince Eegent, and principal miniature painter to H.E.H. 
the Duchess of York. He died on the 9th of May, 1812, 
aged 71, at Tiverton in Devonshire. 

HOBACE HONE, A.E.A., was also a painter of portraits, in 
oil-colours, miniature, and enamel. He had many fashion- 
able sitters, and was appointed miniature painter to the 
Prince of "Wales, retaining that situation when H.E.H. 
became Prince Eegent. He was elected an Associate in 
1779, and died in 1825. 

GEORGE STUBBS, A.E.A., was famous as a painter of 
animals, and especially excelled in portraits of horses and 
dogs. He was born at Liverpool in 1724, and at the age 
of thirty went to Eome to study. He afterwards settled in 
London, and steadily pursued the especial line of art he 
had chosen. In 1766, he completed his work on " the 
Anatomy of the Horse," which was illustrated with plates 
etched by himself after his own designs. Before his 
death, he published three numbers of another work under 
the title of " A Comparative Anatomical Exposition of the 



CH. VII.] STUBBS WRIGHT 245 

Structure of the Human Body with that of a Tiger and a 
Common Fowl," in thirty tables. Many of his paintings 
were engraved by Woollett, Earlom, Green, and others. 
Among these the plate by Woollett of his ' Spanish 
Pointer,' is a fine specimen. Although Stubbs was chiefly 
employed in painting portraits of the most celebrated 
racehorses of his time, he showed by his picture of 
' Phaeton with the Horses of the Sun,' that his talents 
were capable of a higher exercise. In 1780 he became 
an Associate, and was elected in the following year a 
Royal Academician ; this honour, however, he declined. 
He died on the 10th of July, 1806. 

JOSEPH WEIGHT, A.R.A., distinguished from others of the 
same name as "of Derby," was the son of an attorney of that 
town, and was born there in 1734. He came to London 
in 1751, and became a pupil of Hudson, the portrait 
painter, at the same time with Mortimer. On leaving this 
master he returned to Derby, and commenced his career 
as a portrait painter with fair prospects of success. In 
1765, he sent two pictures to the London Exhibition of 
the Society of Artists ; and in the following year exhibited 
three pictures of fire-pieces and candle-light subjects, 
which were much admired. In 1773 he married, and 
soon afterwards set out for Italy, visiting Rome and other 
places during the interval between this period and the 
year 1775, when he returned home and established him- 
self at Bath. While at Rome, he made some drawings 
from the frescoes of Michael Angelo in the Sistine Chapel, 
which are said to have preserved admirably the character 
of the originals. In 1777 he settled at Derby, and re- 
mained there until his death in 1797. 

In 1781 he was elected an Associate of the Royal 
Academy, but subsequently requested that his name 
might be erased from the list, it is said because Edmund 
Garvey was chosen a Royal Academician before him. In 
1785 he made an exhibition of his works in a large room 



246 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. VII. 

in the Piazza, Covent Garden, where he collected together 
twenty-four of his pictures, among which were several 
illustrating the effects of fire-light, a style of work for 
which he had a great taste, the best of these was 'The 
Destruction of the Floating Batteries off Gibraltar.' Sub- 
sequently he occasionaUy sent his works to the Academy 
exhibitions ; in his later years he chiefly painted land- 
scapes, his last work being 'the Head of Ullswater 
Lake,' a large picture of great merit. His best historical 
pieces are ' the Dead Soldier,' ' Edwin at the Tomb of his 
Ancestors,' ' Belshazzar's Feast,' ' Hero and Leander,' ' the 
Lady,' in " Comus," and the ' Storm Scene ' in the " Win- 
ter's Tale," painted for Alderman Boydell. His landscapes 
displayed equal excellence and great variety ; his Italian 
views, 'Cicero's Villa,' and 'Maecenas' Villa at Tivoli,' 
' the Eruption of Mount Vesuvius,' and the ' Fireworks 
exhibited from the Castle of St. Angelo at Eome,' exhibit 
the Wilsonic effect which he sometimes produced, and 
the effects of fire which he so admirably rendered. He 
drew and coloured well, both in figures and landscapes ; 
but his works having been purchased from the easel by 
his own townsmen, or preserved in his family, are rare, 
and little known except by the engravings from them. 

Two architects were included among the early Asso- 
ciates. 

EDWAKD STEVENS, A.E. A., who was elected in 1770 and 
died in 1775, and who in the interval exhibited drawings 
from the buildings which he designed, the Eoyal Ex- 
change at Dublin, and other works of secondary impor- 
tance : and 

JOSEPH or GUISEPPE BOIV T OMI, A.E.A., who was born 
at Eome in 1739, and studied architecture in that city 
under the Marchese Teodoli. In 1767 the Brothers 
Adam invited him to England, and he was for many 



CH. VH.] J. BONOMI 247 

years employed by them. In 1775 he married Eosa 
Florini, the cousin of Angelica Kaufftnan, who, when she 
left England to reside with her husband Zucchi at Eome, 
persuaded Bonomi also to return to Italy, but he did not 
remain in that country above a year, afterwards taking 
up his abode at No. 76 Titchfield Street^ Oxford Street. 
In November 1789 he was elected an Associate of the 
Eoyal Academy, but never became a Eoyal Academician, 
although, as we have elsewhere stated, it was the strong 
wish of the President to raise him to that rank, in order 
that he might succeed to the professorship of perspective, 
then vacant ; his failure in this object led Eeynolds for a 
time to resign the presidency of the Academy. 

Bonomi's most celebrated work is the splendid mansion 
at Eoseneath in Dumbartonshire, erected for the Duke of 
Argyle in 1803, but left unfinished. He had previously 
made additions to Langley Hall in Kent in 1790 ; designed 
the chapel for the Spanish embassy in 1792 ; Eastwell 
House in Kent, 1793 ; Longford Hall, Salop, and Laver- 
stoke, Hants, in 1797. In 1804 he was appointed Hono- 
rary Architect to St. Peter's at Eome, and made designs 
for the new sacristy. He died on the 9th of March, 1808. 
Two of his sons have attained to eminence, the eldest as 
an architect, and another (Joseph) as a traveller and 
writer on Egyptian antiquities, who has recently (March 
1861) been elected Curator of the Soane Museum by the 
President and Council of the Eoyal Academy. 




Benjamin West, P.R^., from the Portrait by Sir Thomas Lawrence 

CHAPTER VIII. 

THE ROYAL ACADEMY UNDER THE PRESIDENCY OF BENJAMIN 
WEST, 17921820. 

Qualifications of West for the Office of President His Addresses The 
Fate of Proctor the Sculptor Publication of Bromley's " History of the 
Fine Arts" Anthony Pasquin's Attacks on the Royal Academy Royal 
Warrant for the Appointment of a Treasurer to succeed Sir William Cham- 
bers Finances of the Academy Pension Fund established Dispute 
between the General Assembly and the Council Barry's Dismissal from 
the Office of Professor of Painting and from the Academy Grant towards 
the Fund for the Exigencies of the State Laws as to Students amended 
Award of Pensions to Widows of deceased Members Illness of the King, 
as it affected West, and the Progress of the Arts Temporary Resignation 
of the President His Plan for a National Association of Art Artists' 
Volunteer Corps Prince Hoare's Academic Annals and Foreign Corre- 
spondence Establishment of the (Old) Water Colour Society and the 
British Institution John Landseer's Appeal for full Academic Honours 
for Engravers Varnishing Days Financial Arrangements amended in 



CH. VIII.] WEST'S QUALIFICATIONS. FOR PRESIDENT 249 

1809 Complimentary Presents made by the Academy Premiums offered 
by the British Institution The Commemoration of Reynolds, 1813 
Waterloo Memorial proposed Canova's Visit to England Exclusion of 
G. H. Harloioe from the Royal Academy Privileges of Students, and 
Increase of Allowances to travelling Students Pensions augmented Com- 
memoration of Fiftieth Anniversary Last Years and Death of the Presi- 
dent Changes among the Members and Officers of the Academy Its 
Financial Position The Exhibitions, 

AMONG all the surviving founders of the Eoyal 
Academy, or indeed among the younger artists who 
had subsequently been elected to membership, none could 
prefer so good a claim to succeed Sir Joshua Eeynolds in 
the office of President, as Benjamin West, upon whom 
the choice of his brethren fell. As an artist he had 
acquired considerable fame ; he had introduced, by what 
was at the time regarded as a daring innovation, the 
practice of painting events in modern history with the 
characteristics of costume and place proper to the occa- 
sion, rather than upon the classic models to which all 
previous artists had reverted ; he followed the highest 
branch of art-history, and had obtained Court favour and 
popularity by his productions ; and besides the claim 
which his personal labours in founding the Eoyal Aca- 
demy gave him to succeed Eeynolds, he possessed those 
peculiar qualifications for the office of President which 
his predecessor so constantly displayed, a quiet and 
gentle temper, extreme courtesy and forbearance, and a 
natural dignity of manner, of some consideration in one 
who had to discharge the duties of the office to which 
he was called. 

To the choice of the Academicians, his Majesty gave 
his ready sanction, for West had long been a favourite 
with the King, and had engrossed so large a share of his 
patronage as to excite, it is said, even the envy of the late 
President. On the 24th of March, 1792, West delivered 
his inaugural address, in which he spoke enthusiastically 
both of the condition and prospects of British art, and 
of the gracious patronage with which the Academy was 



260 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [Cn. VIII. 

favoured by the King. He referred to his own elevation 
as " the free and unsolicited choice with which you have 
called me to fill this chair ; " and of the Academy he 
said : 

" The exhibitions are of the greatest importance to this 
institution, and the institution is become of great importance 
to the country. Here ingenious youths are instructed in the 
art of design, and the instruction acquired in this place has 
spread itself through the various manufactures of the country/ 
. . . But there is another consequence, of a more exalted kind ; 
I mean the cultivating of those higher excellences in refined 
art which have never failed to secure to nations, and to the 
individuals who have nourished them, an immortality of fame 
which no other circumstances have been equally able to per- 
petuate." 

All his subsequent discourses were more or less dis- 
tinguished by their simplicity and practical good sense, 
rather than by any novel theories, or by attempts at 
research into the characteristics of ancient art. His aim 
seems to have been to urge the students to seek for 
knowledge, and to study their art constantly, in all objects 
and at any cost, and thus to develope whatever genius for 
art they might possess, and to chasten and direct their 
imagination. 

In his first discourse to the students, 10th December, 
1792, he recalled the circumstances of the foundation of 
the Academy, and the encouragements which the efforts of 
artists had received from the Eoyal patronage. Next he 
remarked on the connection between moral conduct and 
good taste, and the necessity for Academic instruction, 
while admitting the advantage of freedom and nature in 
study to true genius. " In every branch of art there are 
certain laws by which genius may be chastened, but the cor- 
rections gained by attention to these laws amputate nothing 
that is legitimate, pure, and elegant. Leaving these graces 
untouched, the schools of art have dominion enough in 
curbing what is wild, irregular, and absurd." In his 



CH. VIII.] WEST'S DISCOURSES 251 

second discourse, 10th December, 1794, he took a more 
scientific view of the principles of the fine arts than in 
the first, recommending the drawing of the human figure ; 
attention to the improvement of the eye, accustoming it 
to an accurate discrimination of outline ; and the culti- 
vation of a philosophic spirit, leading by the study of 
proportion, expression, and character, to the ideal of 
beauty. In his discourse in 1797, he drew a comparison 
between the taste of the ancient Greeks and that of 
modern tunes in painting and sculpture, and gave his 
advice as to exact outline in drawing, light and shade, 
colour, composition, and study from nature. In subsequent 
discourses he spoke on the philosophy of character in art, 
showing how it has been attained by others in ancient 
and modern times, and reminded the students that 
patronage, whether royal or general, could only be ex- 
pected to follow what is eminently meritorious. 

Early in the year following West's election, an event 
occurred in connection with the sad fate of a young and 
promising artist, which strikingly exhibited the generous 
disposition of the new President. Thomas Proctor, who 
had been a student of the Eoyal Academy, and had 
gained the gold medal in 1784, for a historical painting, 
had subsequently attracted West's notice by a model in 
clay, for which he gained the silver medal, and by some 
classic compositions he had exhibited at the Academy. 
Unfortunately he found no patrons, and his best work, 
4 Diomede torn to pieces by Wild Horses,' was returned to 
him at the close of the exhibition, and was then in the 
bitterness of his disappointment broken to pieces. Proctor 
disappeared, and after a time West, who had previously 
treated him with marked kindness, and had invited him 
to his house and table, set on foot inquiries respecting 
him, which resulted in the discovery that he had 
abandoned his art in despair, had been sleeping in a 
garret by Clare Market, and living on sea-biscuits and 
water. West, at this time President, at once submitted 



252 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [Car. VIII. 

his case to the Council of the Eoyal Academy, and pro- 
posed that Proctor should be sent to Italy as the travelling 
student, and that 50 should be given him to make 
preparations for his journey. The motion was unani- 
mously approved, and the poor sculptor was sent for the 
next day to dine with West, who informed him of what 
had been done, and arranged that his own son should 
accompany him. The help and the fair prospect both 
came too late. Within a week a messenger came to the 
President to tell him that Proctor was no more ; his con- 
stitution, undermined by want and mental distress, had 
given way under the revulsion which this bright future 
had created in his mind. The Academy in this case, 
unfortunately, was not in time to avert the calamity of 
neglect of genius ; but in how many other instances has 
its timely aid befriended the struggling aspirant, and 
strengthened him until he attained to independence ! 

The early part of the presidentship of West was 
attended by several circumstances which could not have 
been otherwise than vexatious to him, and to many 
members of the Academy. Some dissatisfaction arose in 
1793, on the publication of the first volume of the Eev. 
William Bromley's " History of the Fine Arts," in which 
the President's works were highlv extolled, but those of 

<_j / * 

Eeynolds (so recently deceased), and Fuseli (stih 1 living), 
were spoken of in such disparaging terms that Fuseli 
criticised the book with great severity in one of the lead- 
ing journals, and the Academicians, who had subscribed 
for the work, refused to take the second volume, which, 
however, was never published. A suspicion arose that 
West had sanctioned the publication, as he was known to 
be a friend of the author, and to have consulted him in 
the preparation of his lectures : if this supposition were 
correct, it was certainly ill-judged, and naturally aroused 
the angry feeling it occasioned. 

In the same year (1793) the members of the Eoyal 
Academy celebrated the twenty-fifth anniversary of its 



Cn. Vm.] PASQUIN'S CRITIQUES 258 

foundation, by dining together at the Academy on the 
day of its commemoration, the 10th December. These 
social gatherings of the Academicians had charms which 
the more stately Exhibition Dinner could not afford. The 
members met to know each other more intimately to 
discuss freely, as friends and brothers in art, the prospects 
of the institution of which they formed a part, and the 
several matters in which their individual sympathies were 
concerned. They sung songs (at least those who could 
do so), and some of these were composed expressly for 
the occasion of their meetings, by such of their number 
as possessed the poet's skill. One of the oldest members 
of the Academy, Paul Sandby, was frequently in the habit 
of thus entertaining his fellow-academicians with some 
verses referring with a pleasant humour and sometimes 
keen satire, to the foibles and follies of the passing hour. 

In the year following the commemoration of the com- 
pletion of the first quarter of a century of the existence 
of the Eoyal Academy, it was exposed to a similar 
satirical attack to that to which it had been subjected by 
Wolcott's Odes of " Peter Pindar," in the publication of 
a "Liberal Critique on the Exhibition for 1794," and 
of " Memoirs of the Academicians, being an attempt to 
improve the taste of the realm, by Anthony Pasquin, Esq.," 
whose real name was Williams, and who, while holding 
up most of the members of the Academy to contempt, 
and ridiculing their works, showed some discernment in 
commending the early works of many others who after- 
wards attained to especial excellence. In another work 
by the same author, " An Authentic History of the Artists 
of Ireland," he proposed to publish " original letters from 
Sir Joshua Eeynolds, which prove him to be illiterate," 
and thus by insult to the memory of one whose genius 
was beyond dispute, caused added indignation among the 
members of the Academy. 1 

1 Here are some specimens of his by Opie, of Fusjli, he describes him 
criticisms. Speaking of a portrait as " one of those ungrateful and 



254 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [Cn. VIII. 

Several important changes in the mode of conducting 
the affairs of the Academy were made in the year 1796. 
The first treasurer, Sir William Chambers, died, and was 
succeeded by John Yenn, who held the appointment 
under the Eoyal sign manual, a proof of the interest which 
King George the Third still felt in the Academy, and of 
his desire to retain a supervision over its funds. The 
form of this document is as follows : 

"aEOKOKE E. 

" Whereas we have thought fit to nominate and appoint John 
Yenn, Esq. (Clerk of the Works at the Queen's House), to be 
Treasurer to our Royal Academy, during our pleasure, in the 
room of Sir William Chambers, Knight, deceased : Our will 
and pleasure therefore is, that you pay, or cause to be paid, unto 
the said John Yenn all such sums as shall appear necessary to 
pay the debts contracted in the support of the said Academy ; 
and for so doing this shall be to you a sufficient warrant and 
discharge. Given at the Queen's Palace, the 31st day of March, 
1796, in the thirty-sixth year of our reign, 

" By his Majesty's command. 

(Signed) " CARDIGAN." 

" To ova right trusty and well beloved Cousin, 
The Earl of Cardigan, Keeper of our Privy Purse." 

The finances of the Eoyal Academy were taken into 
consideration in the month of October 1796, when it 
was found that in the year 1785 it was in possession of 
7900, three per cent, stock, and two "Marybone 
Bonds " of 100 each. That in the ten intervening years 



indolent R. A. 's, who leave their Aca- vourite domestics who are the saints 
demic mother to be illumined and and demons of his necessities." R. 
supported by the striplings of the Westall's portrait of a young gentle- 
establishment." Of Thomas Stothard man "is as puerile as the subject; " 
he says, "whose education and un- and his 'Minerva' "all legs and 
derstanding enable him to rescue the thighs, like the late Sir Thomas Ro- 
general character of a Royal Acade- binson." Lawrence's portraits were 
mician from the imputation of igno- " delicate but not true, and attractive 
ranee." He speaks highly of Shee's but not admirable." Such was the 
works, but condemns those of West, general tone of his remarks, inter- 
observing that "the identity of Mr. mingled with much coarseness which 
West's figures is so continually appa- cannot be repeated here, 
rent, that I believe he has a few fa- 



CH. VIII.] PENSION FUND 255 

there had been an average annual saving of 400 per 
annum, so that its funds were increased to 13,800, and 
that in none of those years did the expenses exceed the 
income, while the solid fund was then increased to 
10,000 stock, yielding 300 a-year ; and the charity 
fund was augmented to 6000. It was therefore con- 
sidered that the interest of the stock was sufficient to 
guard against any probable deficiency in the income of 
the Academy, and that the time had arrived when a 
PENSION FUND might be established. 

The following is the plan which was adopted for this 
purpose on the 7th October, 1796 : 

" First. That the savings of the Academy, after payment of 
all their annual and contingent expenses, be hereafter applied 
towards the increase of the stock in the" 3 per cent. Consolidated 
Annuities, which shall hereafter be called the Pension Fund ; 
and that when the said stock shall amount to 10,000, the 
Council shall have power to give the following pensions, viz. : 

" To an Academician, a pension not exceeding 50 per 
annum, provided the sum given does not make his annual 
income exceed 100. 

" To an Associate, a pension not exceeding 30 per annum, 
provided the sum given does not make his annual income 
exceed 80. 

" To a widow of an Academician, a pension not exceeding 
30 per annum, provided the sum given does not make her 
annual income exceed 80. 

" To a widow of an Associate, a pension not exceeding 20 
per annum, provided the sum given does not make her annual 
income exceed 50. 

"When the Fund shall be increased to 15,000, the Council 
shall have power to give the following pensions, viz. : 

"To an Academician, a pension not exceeding 60 per 
annum, provided the sum given does not make his annual 
income exceed 100. 

"To an Associate, a pension not exceeding 36 per annum, 
provided the sum given does not make his annual income 
exceed 80. 

" To a, widow of an Academician, a pension not exceeding 



250 HISTORY OF THE EOYAL ACADEMY [On. VIII. 

36 per annum, provided the sum given does not make her 
annual income exceed 80. 

" To a widow of an Associate, a pension not exceeding 25 
per annum, provided the sum given does not make her annual 
income exceed 50. 

" When the Fund shall be increased to 20,000, the Council 
shall have power to give the following pensions, viz. : 

"To an Academician, a pension not exceeding 70 per 
annum, provided the sum given does not make his annual 
income exceed 100. 

" To an Associate, a pension not exceeding 50 per annum, 
provided the sum given does not make his annual income 
exceed 80. 

" To a widow of an Academician, a pension not exceeding 
50 per annum, provided the sum given does not make her 
annual income exceed 80. 

" To a widow of an Associate, a pension not exceeding 30 
per annum, provided the sum given does not make her annual 
income exceed 50." 

For the administration of the fund the following rules 
were ordered to be observed : 

" That every Academician, Associate, Widow of an Acade- 
mician, and Widow of an Associate, who is a claimant for a 
pension from the Eoyal Academy, shall produce such proofs as 
the President and Council may require of their situation and 
circumstances ; and in this examination the ' President and 
Council shall consider themselves as scrupulously bound to 
investigate each claim, and to make proper discriminations 
between imprudent conduct and the unavoidable failure of pro- 
fessional employment in the members of the Society ; and also 
to satisfy themselves in respect to the moral conduct of their 
widows. 

" That any Academician or Associate who shall omit exhibiting 
in the Eoyal Academy for two successive years shall have no 
claim on the Pension Fund, under any of the regulations above 
mentioned, unless he can give satisfactory proof to the President 
and Council that such omission was occasioned by illness, age, 
or any other cause which they shall think a reasonable excuse. 

"That these pensions shall not preclude any Academician, 
Associate, or their widows, in cases of particular distress, arising 



CH. VEX] THE CATALOGUE THE COINAGE 257 

from young children, or other causes, from receiving such 
temporary relief as may appear to the Council to be necessary 
or proper to be granted. But it is to be strictly understood that 
this Pension Fund shall on no account be considered as liable 
to claims to relieve such difficulties. All sums paid on account 
of claims of such a nature shall be carried, as usual, to the 
current expenses of the year." 

Another change proposed in the same year, 1796, 
related to the Exhibition Catalogue, which it was sug- 
gested might be printed more cheaply in octavo, but the 
specimen produced did not give satisfaction, and the idea 
was abandoned. To reduce the bulk of the quarto cata- 
logue, it was, however, determined to print the names 
and addresses of the exhibitors in two columns, and in a 
smaller type, and still to continue the original price of 
sixpence. This practice was continued till 1809, when 
further alterations were made, which will be noticed 
hereafter. 

In 1798, the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury 
requested the assistance of the Eoyal Academy, in regard 
to the preparation of designs for a new coinage, and a 
committee from that body was appointed to meet the 
committee of the House of Lords, to discuss the future 
fashioning of the coinage of the realm, and to be pre- 
pared with drawings and models for the coins to be 
substituted for those then in use. On several other 
occasions the Government has applied for the aid of the 
Eoyal Academicians, to give their advice and decision 
in questions of taste, which is a pleasing proof of the 
estimation in which their judgment on matters relating 
to art is held. 

The value of the influence of the Eoyal Founder in 
governing the Academy, was shown in 1799, when 
Henry Tresham, one of its members, represented to the 
King that the law prescribed by the fifth section of the 
" Instrument of Institution," regulating the succession of 
seats in the Council by rotation, had been departed from, 

VOL. i. s 



258 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. VIII. 

the vacancies having been balloted for. A long dis- 
cussion followed ; and on the 4th February, 1800, the 
President vindicated himself, at a meeting of the Council, 
against the charges and the intemperate language used 
by Mr. Tresham in arguing the question ; but still the 
matter was left undecided, until his Majesty required 
a return to a strict obedience to the original law, and 
the printing annually of the rotation of the Council ; and 
thus finally closed the controversy on the subject, by 
insisting upon all the members taking their fair share 
in the work of governing the Academy. Obedience 
was at once willingly rendered to such an authority, 
and the question has never since been raised. 

The same year, 1799, is memorable as the one in 
which the long-continued strife between James Barry 
and the Academy was brought to a painful termination. 
One of the earliest subjects of contention, was the 
earnestness and vehemence with which he insisted that 
all the surplus funds of the Academy should be ex- 
pended in the purchase of pictures to form a gallery of 
the Old Masters for the use of the pupils, to aid them in 
design, composition, and colouring ; and he launched 
his full power of sarcasm and invective against his 
brethren, when they urged that according to the rules 
of their institution, the funds could not be so appro- 
priated, but must be applied first to the maintenance 
of the schools, and then to the award of pensions and 
grants to artists or their families who might need such 
assistance. That such a gallery -was desirable none could 
deny ; but few could agree with Barry that it fell within 
the province of the Eoyal Academy to exhaust all its 
means in very imperfectly attempting to form it. Since 
his time our National Gallery has been established ; but 
even now, when individual liberality and the Parliament 
have combined to expend large sums upon the gathering 
together of a collection of pictures, how little has yet 
been accomplished towards the formation of a series of 



CH. VIII.] JAMES BARRY'S EXPULSION 259 

paintings, which would enable the student of art to trace 
its history or progress, much less to examine the de- 
velopment of its practice in the different continental 
schools. 

This was only one instance of the many in which 
contention, suspicion, and unlicensed accusation were 
displayed by Barry. At one time he w as robbed of 
400 by thieves who broke into his house ; the next 
morning he posted up a placard to announce that the 
burglary was committed by the thirty-nine Eoyal Aca- 
demicians who opposed him ! He was continually publicly 
condemning the President and his brother artists ; and 
when he took advantage of his position as Professor of 
Painting, to link these personalities with the teaching of 
the principles of art, and to make invidious comparisons 
between the works of deceased artists and those of the 
living men among whom he laboured, it was evident 
that he sought rather to foster among the students con- 
tempt for the Academicians than to instil the knowledge 
of the true theory and practice of art. By thus abusing 
the trust committed to him, he justly excited the anger 
of ah 1 the Academic body, and for this breach of faith 
and confidence towards them, they might properly have 
expelled him from the office of Professor. But after 
Eeynolds was dead, and Barry had with strange incon- 
sistency passed a glowing eulogium on his talents, they 
allowed him to remain among them, even though they 
were perpetually subjected to the violent irritability of 
his temper. In 1797, however, he published " A Letter 
to the Dilettanti Society, respecting the obtention of 
certain matters essentially necessary for the improvement 
of public taste, and for accomplishing the original views 
of the Eoyal Academy of Great Britain." In this work, 
after describing the leading principles of national art 
the objects which the Eoyal Academy had been instituted 
to accomplish and the purposes to which their money 
as well as their energies ought to be directed, he pro- 

8 2 



260 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. VIII. 

ceeded to discuss the actual conduct of the affairs of the 
Academy, denounced private combinations and jealousies, 
asserted that the funds were dissipated by secret in- 
trigues, and proposed that the votes of the members 
should be taken on oath on every occasion of importance, 
to secure the honest and truthful expression of their 
opinion. 

It was scarcely to be expected that the Academicians 
would read without indignation such a bitter insult from 
one of their own professors. Farington read aloud at 
a general meeting of the members held on the 15th of 
April, 1799, Barry's Letter to the Dilettanti Society, and 
information of his personal irregularities was given by 
Dance and Daniell ; whereupon the Keeper, Wilton the 
sculptor, was directed to embody the charges made 
against him in a resolution, accusing him of making 
digressions in his lectures, in which he abused members 
of the Academy, the dead as well as the living ; of 
teaching the students habits of insubordination, and 
countenancing them in licentious and disorderly be- 
haviour ; of charging the Academy with voting in 
pensions among themselves, 16,000, which should have 
been laid out for the benefit of the students ; and, finally, 
of having spoken unhandsomely of the President, Ben- 
jamin West. It is much to be regretted that in the in- 
dignation of the moment, the Academicians acted upon 
these charges without affording Barry a copy of them, 
or the opportunity of explanation. According to the 
statement he afterwards published as an Appendix to 
his " Letter," it would appear that the ground on which 
this course was taken, " was the admission imputed to 
him of the charges," but against which he protested in a 
letter he addressed to Richards the Secretary, on the 
16th of April. Eight days afterwards, however, the 
final decision was communicated to him in the following 
terms : 



CH. VIII. ] GRANT IN AID OF THE STATE 261 

" April 24th, 1799. 

"Sir, The General Assembly of Academicians having re- 
ceived the Keport of the Committee appointed to investigate 
your academical conduct, decided that you be removed from the 
office of Professor of Painting, and, by a second vote, that you 
be expelled the Royal Academy. 

" The Journals of Council, the Report of the Committee, and 
the Resolutions of the General Assembly having been laid before 
the King, his Majesty was graciously pleased to approve the 
whole of the proceedings, and to strike your name from the roll 
of Academicians. "I am, &c., 

" JOHN RICHARDS, R.A., Sec. 

" To James Barry, Royal Academy." 

Thus closed the vexatious strife which had so long 
agitated the Academy ; but unfortunately the angry 
feeling of resentment was not extinguished, although it 
was mitigated as far as Barry was concerned, by the 
efforts which his friends made soon afterwards to save 
him from want in the few remaining years of his unhappy 
life of disappointment. 

The patriotism of the Eoyal Academicians was illus- 
trated by a grant of 500 made by them in 1799 to 
the Government towards the exigencies of the State, to 
meet the heavy pecuniary demands upon the public purse 
arising out of the prolonged war with France, the rebellion 
in Ireland, the contests in India, and the recent suspension 
of cash payments by the Bank of England. An offer of 
another 500 towards the subscription for the relief of 
the sufferers by the war, was made in 1803, on the 
renewed outbreak of the European war, but the grant was 
vetoed by the King, who while sensible of the loyal motive 
which prompted the proposal, considered that it would 
not be for the welfare of the Academy thus to divert its 
resources from their original purpose. 

In the two succeeding years, 1800-1, some changes 
were made in regard to the students in the schools. On 
the first establishment of the Eoyal Academy, the period 



262 HISTORY OF THE EOYAL ACADEMY [On. VIII. 

of study was limited to six years. In 1792 this term was 
extended to seven years ; and in 1800 it was further 
increased to ten years, and the privilege was accorded 
of an annual renewal of studentship, dependent upon the 
attention to study previously given by the applicant. 
This regulation continued in force until 1853, when the 
term was again reduced to seven years for those students 
who have not obtained medals, the grant of which con- 
stitutes them students for life. 

In accordance with the resolution passed in 1796, by 
which it was ordered that the payment of pensions should 
commence when the funded capital attained the sum of 
10,000, the claims of certain applicants were considered 
in 1801, the year in which the capital reached the amount 
specified, and five widows were awarded pensions in 1802. 
These were Mrs. Barret, Mrs. Baker, Mrs. Serres, and 
Mrs. Hamilton, widows of Eoyal Academicians, who 
were to receive 30 per annum, each, and Mrs. Haward, 
the widow of an Associate Engraver, 20 per annum. 
Although no law had been acted upon prior to this time, 
a pension had, however, been awarded by the Academy 
to Mrs. Hogarth, from 1787 to 1789, at 40 per annum, 
out of regard to the memory of her famous husband, 
when it was known that in her declining years such assist- 
ance would be acceptable to her. In 1809 the pension 
fund reached 15,000, and the higher scale was acted 
upon till 1816, when the fund having been increased to 
20,000, the highest rate of pension prescribed by the 
law passed in 1796 was thenceforward awarded. The 
average annual sum thus expended was about 190 
a very small proportion of the amount yearly dispensed 
by the Academy at that time among artists and their 
families requiring assistance. Yet while the Academicians 
have generally attained sufficient eminence to save them- 
selves and their families from want, it cannot be over- 
looked that in sickness or adversity, the consciousness that 
there is such a provision made to meet unavoidable 



CH. VIII.] THE KING'S ILLNESS 263 

necessity, has cheered many a man of genius in the dreary 
evening of his life, and on his dying bed has consoled 
him with the thought that his family would not be left 
utterly destitute when he could no longer support them 
by the fruits of his own labours. 

The distressing malady which had at intervals since 
1788, cast its shadow over the Eoyal Founder of the 
Academy, was felt as a personal sorrow by all his loyal 
subjects ; and the necessary retirement of the King at a 
subsequent period from all public duties was felt as a 
great loss to the institution which had owed so much of 
its success and prosperity to his support and sympathy. 
Artists lost a friend and supporter, as well as a patron, 
when King George III. was no longer able personally to 
foster and encourage the arts and its professors ; and none 
experienced this more than the President. From 1769 
till 1801, he had always received all orders for pictures 
from his Majesty in person. But he now received inti- 
mation by Mr. Wyatt,* the Eoyal Architect, that the 
pictures painting for the Chapel at Windsor must be 
suspended until further orders. He wrote to the King on 
the 26th September, 1801, expressing his great concern 
that the pictures on ' Eevealed Eeligion ' were not to be 
completed, and lamenting that such a decision would be 
alike ruinous to himself, and would damp the hope of 
patronage in the more refined departments of painting. 
No answer was received, but on subsequently obtaining a 
private audience of the King, after his recovery, West 
learnt that his Majesty never ordered the suspension of 
the work, nor had he received his letter. " Go on with 
the pictures, West," he said, " and I'll take care of you." 
Thus encouraged West pursued the great task he had 
undertaken, receiving 1000 per annum till his Majesty's 
final illness, when it was suddenly stopped, and he was 
officially informed that the paintings must be suspended. 
" He submitted in silence," says his biographer, Gait ; " he 
neither remonstrated nor complained." 



264 HISTOEY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. VIII. 

There are never wanting those who delight to disparage 
a good and great man, when suffering neglect or misfor- 
tune, and now that it was known that West no longer 
retained his pre-eminence at Court, a document was 
published representing that he had received no less than 
34,187 from the King for the works he had executed 
by his commands. But it was not stated that this was 
the reward for thirty-three years' labour ; and the state- 
ment made by West in reply, giving the details of the 
work done, and the sums received from time to time 
during this long period, removed the impression that he 
had unfairly amassed a fortune. He was known to be a 
man of such honour and integrity that his explanation at 
once silenced the ill-natured reports circulated against him. 

To show the unkindness of the attacks to which West 
at this period of his career was exposed, we print the fol- 
lowing statement which was issued by authority in 
answer to one of them : 

" Royal Academy, Somerset House, 
"April" 15th, 1803. 

" The Council of the Eoyal Academy feel themselves com- 
pelled to notice a paragraph in the * Morning Post ' of yester- 
day, of an unwarrantable kind, levelled at the President and at 
the Eoyal Academy at large. The circumstances which occa- 
sioned the paragraph are as follows : Mr. West sent for the 
exhibition a historical painting, representing ' Hagar and 
Ishmael in the Wilderness.' On the first view of the picture, a 
member of the Council expressed his opinion of its having been 
previously exhibited, although the words <B. West, 1803,' were 
on the face thereof. The next morning the same member, 
having examined former catalogues, found that a picture of the 
same subject had been exhibited in 1776. This circumstance 
led to further investigation, and the words <B. West, 1776,' 
were observed in another part of the picture, but without any 
obliteration whatever. The Secretary was directed to com- 
municate the circumstances immediately to Mr. West, in 
writing, which, in the hurry of preparing for the exhibition, he 
omitted to do ; and it is to be observed that the first intimation 
Mr. West had of the paragraph in question was through the 



CH. VIII.] ATTACKS ON WEST 265 

medium of an evening paper (the ' Courier '), sent to him at 
the Eoyal Academy yesterday evening, being the first time his 
health had permitted him to attend since the picture was sent 
for the exhibition. 

"The newspaper referred to states, 'The members of the 
Council, indignant at the deception, regarded each other with 
silent astonishment.' This circumstance the Council positively 
deny. The illness of the President naturally suggested itself 
to the Council as the cause of the mistake, a mistake which 
deprives the exhibition of the picture, as the usual practice of 
the Academy expressly forbids the second exhibition of any 
picture whatever. 

" It is necessary to observe that Mr. West states that he is in 
the habit of altering and repainting his pictures, adding the 
date of the year in which the alterations are made. Upon this 
principle the picture of * Hagar and Ishmael ' has been altered, 
and, in a great degree, repainted, and the name and year added. 

(Signed) " J. S. COPLEY, Deputy-Chairman 
J. SOANE 
F. BOURGEOIS 
J. M. W. TURNER 
C. Eossi 
O. HUMPHREY." 

In 1803 an internal dispute in reference to the govern- 
ment of the Academy, arose on the question as to the 
right of the Council to have the entire direction and ma- 
nagement of all the business of the Society, an attempt 
having been apparently made at that time to transfer the 
government from the Council to the General Assembly. 1 
The latter called a meeting in March 1803, to take the 
conduct of five members of the Council (viz. J. S. Copley, 
J. Wyatt, J. Yenn, J. Soane and F. Bourgeois) into con- 
sideration ; and on the 24th May following, the Council 
passed two resolutions, denying that they were responsible 
either individually or collectively to the General Assembly 



1 See "A Concise Vindication of Lyndhurst), 1804; and a "Concise 

the Five Members of the Council of Review of the Above," published in 

the Koyal Academy Suspended," by the same year by an anonymous 

J. S. Copley (the present Lord author. 



260 HISTORY OF TIIE ROYAL ACADEMY [Cn. VIII. 

for their proceedings in the Council, and begging the Pre- 
sident humbly to request his Majesty to be pleased to 
express his sentiments thereon for the future guidance of 
the Royal Academy. These resolutions were passed by 
a majority of the Council, but the subsequent meeting to 
confirm these resolutions was postponed by the President, 
and instead of it a General Assembly convened, who passed, 
on the 30th of May, a resolution that the conduct of the 
five members above referred to " in the Council on 24th 
of May, 1803, has rendered it expedient to suspend, pro 
tern., the said members from their functions as councillors 
of the Eoyal Academy, and that the President be requested 
to summon a general meeting on Friday next, 3rd June, 
to take into further consideration the proceedings of 
Council on the above-mentioned 24th of May." This pro- 
position was moved by G. Dance and carried ; but was 
opposed by Wilton, Eigaud, P. Sandby, Tresham, Cosway, 
De Loutherbourg; and Beechey, besides the five members 
of Council referred to, who were, of course, also members 
of the General Assembly. 

The suspended members of the Council appealed to the 
King, and in August two addresses were presented to his 
Majesty from the General Assembly counter to each other 
the one from the majority, the other from the minority 
who opposed the carrying of the above proposition. His 
Majesty determined to take the opinion of a high legal 
authority upon the subject, and afterwards gave his deci- 
sion, which was to the following effect : That the King 
disapproved the conduct of the General Assembly in cen- 
suring and suspending the five members of the Council, 
viz. Messrs. Copley, Wyatt, Yenn, Soane, and Bourgeois, 
and therefore ordered and directed that all the matters 
relative to these proceedings should be expunged from 
the Minutes of the Eoyal Academy. It was also stated in 
the reply " that by the laws of the Eoyal Academy the 
general body had no power to apply any part of the funds 
of the Society without the authority and consent of the 



CH. VIII.] COUNCIL AND GENERAL ASSEMBLY 267 

Council, and that no part of the funds could be applied to 
any purposes except those of the institution, and that the 
King, therefore, disapproved of the proposed donation " 
[of 500 towards the relief fund at Lloyd's]. His Majesty 
further signified his pleasure " that the above order should 
be entered on record as a future guide to the conduct of 
the general body on similar occasions." 

Some further misunderstanding and angry feeling arose 
after this order was given, and a further reference was 
made to the King, who replied that he wished the whole 
transaction to be expunged from the recollection of the 
Academy, as his desire was to restore harmony, and to see 
it continue amongst the Academicians. Nor would the 
subject be revived by reference to it even at this distant 
period, except to show how ready the Eoyal Founder of' 
the Academy was to devote his attention to its interest at 
a time when so many other important cares were pressing 
upon him, and to demonstrate the value of that Eoyal 
protection to the arts which King George III. was first 
pleased to bestow upon them. 

Shortly after these occurrences, West took advantage of 
the peace of Amiens to visit Paris, that he might examine 
the splendid works of art which Napoleon had collected 
at the Louvre. On his return to England he fancied that 
he was received coldly because he had expressed his 
admiration for the great man who was soon to be the 
French emperor, and had accepted the honourable recep- 
tion given to him by French statesmen ; added to which 
he found himself exposed to opposition within the Eoyal 
Academy ; he therefore determined to vacate the Presi- 
dent's chair. At the annual election on the 10th of 
December, 1804, when thirty Academicians were present, 
only twenty votes were given for him as President, seven 
for Wyatt, and three blanks. In the letter he wrote ten- 
dering his resignation, dated November 1805, he first 
referred to the fact of his being the only survivor of the 
four artists who applied to the King to found the Eoyal 



208 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. VIII. 

Academy, and reminded the members that for thirty-seven 
years he had never failed to exhibit his pictures there, 
and that during fourteen years he had done his best to 
fulfil the duties of President ; " but whatever may have 
been my exertions or whatever my wishes for the welfare 
of the institution, the occurrences which took place on 
the 10th of December last, and subsequent circumstances, 
have determined me to withdraw from the situation of 
President of the Eoyal Academy, and I shall return to the 
peaceful pursuits of my profession." The Academicians 
were evidently only momentarily displeased, or divided in 
their choice. The Court Architect, James Wyatt, was 
elected to fill the office of President on the 10th of Decem- 
ber following, when, however, only seventeen out of the 
forty Academicians attended the assembly to give their 
votes. But the members soon repented of the course they 
had taken in the heat of a passing controversy, and the 
next year they wisely restored West to the office he so 
worthily filled, by a vote which may be considered unani- 
mous, since the only dissenting voice was that of Fuseli, 
who, in his usual sarcastic manner, admitted that he had 
voted for Mrs. Moser, as he thought one old woman as 
good as another ! 

West, as soon as all these matters were finally set at 
rest, next endeavoured to form " a National Association 
for the encouragement of works of dignity and impor- 
tance in art ; " and during his first visit to the Continent 
he had enlisted the sympathies of several of the great 
political leaders of the day in his design. But unfor- 
tunately the times were adverse to the fulfilment of such 
a purpose. War was again raging, and there was little 
money, public or private, available for the patronage of 
art on a grand scale. Pitt to whom West first applied 
for support in the plan, seemed ready to do what he 
could to promote it, but was removed by death ; Fox 
and Perceval were successively applied to, but they, 
too, quickly passed away, and the project was therefore 



CH. VIII.] HOAEE'S ACADEMIC ANNALS 269 

abandoned, although it acted as a germ, out of which by 
other means, an institution of a somewhat similar nature 
to that proposed was soon to spring. 

On the renewal of the war in 1803, several plans 
were started for the formation of Volunteer Corps for 
the defence of the country. An offer was made by the 
Society of Engravers to unite with the members of the 
Eoyal Academy in the formation of an Artists' Corps. 
On this occasion, in July and August, consultations took 
place between the Eoyal Academicians and the Associates 
to consider the proposition, but it was eventually de- 
clined, on account of the difficulties which would have 
attended the practical working of the plan. This is the 
only occasion since the foundation of the Academy, in 
which the Eoyal Academicians and the Associates have 
met together in council for deliberation on any subject 
in which they were mutually interested. 

Mr. Prince Hoare, on his appointment as Foreign 
Secretary to the Academy in 1799, had opened a corre- 
spondence with the different academies of Europe, with 
a view to obtain a general knowledge of the then state 
of the fine arts in those countries, as well as to learn 
the particular degrees of their respective encouragement 
and cultivation. The result of his first efforts was pub- 
lished in a small quarto pamphlet of forty-eight pages, 
entitled, " Extracts from a Correspondence with the Aca- 
demies of Vienna and St. Petersburg on the Cultivation 
of the Arts, 1802." A second portion was published in 
1804, containing the further correspondence with the 
same foreign academies, a summary of the transactions of 
the Eoyal Academy during the preceding year, and a 
description of the public monuments erected by order of 
the Parliament to the naval and military heroes who had 
fallen in the war, which were executed by Banks, Flax- 
man, Bacon, and Westmacott. The unpropitious circum- 
stances of the times hindered him from obtaining similar 
information to that he had previously collected from 



270 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. VIII. 

other foreign countries, and afterwards compelled him 
to discontinue even the correspondence which had been 
commenced with Eussia and Austria. But he continued, 
under the title of " Academic Annals published by 
authority of the Eoyal Academy," to give, from 1805 to 
1809, an account of the proceedings of the institution, 
an outline of the lectures and addresses delivered, details 
respecting the exhibitions, &c., which are still interesting. 
At that time six weeks seem to have been the usual 
period during which the exhibition was kept open, 
since he mentions its prolongation to seven weeks in 
1805, as an unusual occurrence. Among other details 
he records that the exhibition of 1801 contained 1037 
works of art, of which 800 were portraits, landscapes, 
and picturesque drawings, about 40 historical pictures, 
and 200 sculptures and architectural designs. In the 
same year Flaxman and Banks were instructed by the 
Eoyal Academy to attend the sale of the valuable casts 
belonging to Eoniney the painter, who had imported 
them from Italy, and they purchased nineteen different 
works, among them the celebrated ' Torso ' by Gaddi. 
In July 1802, Canova offered to present a cast of his 
statue of a ' pugillatore ' to the Academy, which was 
thankfully accepted; and in December 1805, a corre- 
spondence took place between the Academy and the 
Treasury respecting the erection of monuments in St. 
Paul's and Westminster Abbey to Nelson and others, 
the competition for which was not to be confined to 
members of the Academy, but it was wished that a 
committee should be appointed by them to determine 
on the general character of the monuments, and the 
most proper situations for them. Accordingly a com- 
mittee was formed, consisting of Mr. Wyatt (then acting 
as President), two sculptors (Nollekens and Flaxman), two 
architects (Yenn and Soane), and two painters (Cosway 
and Stothard). 

The Eoyal Academy had been for several years the 



CH. Vin.] WATER-COLOUR SOCIETY 271 

only art-society in England, and its exhibition the only 
source of attraction for lovers of pictures the old Free 
Society of Artists having held its last exhibition in 1779, 
and the Society of Artists (out of which the Academy 
arose) having appeared for the last time before the 
public in 1791, by making an exhibition at Spring 
Gardens. It was now no longer to stand alone, for in 
1805 two important auxiliary (not rival) institutions rose 
into existence the one, the society now known as the 
" Old Society of Painters in Water Colours," the other, 
" The British Institution." The first of these originated 
from the circumstance that the water-colour painters felt 
that their works, when contrasted with the richness and 
depth of oil-paintings (as they must have been in the 
only exhibition the Eoyal Academy then open for 
their display), assumed an air of poverty and thinness, 
especially as they had not at that time advanced to that 
solidity and richness in colouring, which have now been 
attained in that medium. Meetings were held at the 
rooms of Mr. SheUey, a miniature painter, to discuss a 
plan for an exhibition to consist wholly of water-colour 
paintings, and exclusively of works of members. The 
founders were G. Barrett, J. Cristall, W. J. Gilpin, 
J. Glover, W. Havell, E. Hills, J. Holworthy, J. 0. 
Nattes, F. Nicholson, W. H. Pyne, S. Eigaud, S. Shelley, 
J. and 0. Varley, and W. F. Wells. Then- first exhibi- 
tion was opened on the 22nd of April, 1805, at the 
rooms in Lower Brook Street, Grosvenor Square, built 
by Vandergutch the engraver. The founder of the 
English school of water-colour painting Paul Sandby 
was not of the number, for he was then advanced in years, 
and was, as a Eoyal Academician, bound to contribute 
to its exhibitions ; Girtin, who followed him, improving 
the old method, died while still young a few years before ; 
and Turner, who so greatly advanced the infant art, had 
become a member of the Academy, and was at that 
time devoting all his energies to painting in oil. The 



272 HISTORY OF THE EOYAL ACADEMY [On. VIII. 

success of the society was nevertheless sure, and its ex- 
hibitions were subsequently removed to Bond Street, then 
to Spring Gardens, and finally to the rooms in Pall-Mall 
East, which it now occupies. 

The British Institution, an offspring of the plan of 
West two years before owed its foundation partly to 
the President's fruitless efforts, partly to Shee's " Ehymes 
on Art," and to his correspondence with Sir Thomas 
Bernard, an ardent and sincere friend of the arts, who 
with some noblemen and gentry who met at the Thatched 
House Tavern, in St. James's Street, decided on convening 
a public meeting of the friends of art to arrange the plan 
of the proposed institution. Several discussions quickly 
followed, and the body of noblemen and gentlemen of the 
highest rank who became the founders, agreed to collect 
together yearly, without respect to names or invidious 
distinctions, as many of the best productions of the English 
school as they could display for sale, and occasionally to 
reward the best works exhibited by premiums of merit. 
They desired to exhibit chiefly works of a historical and 
poetic character, landscapes, &c., and excluded all mere 
portraiture ; at a later period (1813) they determined to 
lend their own best pictures by the old masters for the 
study of the artists and for exhibition to the public ; and 
to carry out this laudable object the founders subscribed 
7939, purchased Alderman Boydell's Shakspeare Gallery 
in Pall-Mall for their exhibition-room, and there on the 
18th of January, 1806, opened the first exhibition of the 
British Institution to the public. When it was first pro- 
posed to the King to sanction its establishment by extend- 
ing his patronage to it, he made some objection to doing 
so, conceiving that it was likely to interfere with the 
Eoyal Academy, which he not unnaturally regarded with 
the partiality of a parent. But on West explaining that 
the two institutions were very different in their objects 
the Academy being founded for the instruction of pupils, 
and the other for the encouragement of artists arrived at 



CH. VIIL] THE BRITISH INSTITUTION 273 

maturity in their profession, his Majesty at once assented to 
receive the deputation from the British Institution which 
came to solicit his patronage. To prove that no opposition 
to any existing society for promoting the fine arts was in- 
tended, a law was passed, declaring " that the British Institu- 
tion being intended to promote the extension, and increase 
the beneficial effects of the Eoyal Academy founded by King 
George HE., and by no means to interfere with it in any 
respect, a favourable attention would be paid to such pic- 
tures as have been exhibited at the Eoyal Academy," and 
it was further resolved that the exhibition of new works 
(now known as the Spring Exhibition) should terminate 
on the opening of that of the Eoyal Academy, the works 
of old masters, which could not interfere with it, being 
held in the summer months. The school of the British 
Institution was supplemental to that of the Academy, and 
was formed by obtaining the loan of good pictures by old 
masters, to be copied by the students. It was obviously 
not in the power of the Eoyal Academy to form such a 
collection of paintings as would have been necessary for 
this purpose, and there was not then, as now, a National 
Gallery, to afford examples for imitation. The proceed- 
ings of the British Institution, which has expended a large 
sum on premiums to the best artists who exhibited their 
works there, and in the purchase of pictures for the na- 
tional collection, do not, however, belong to this history, 
except so far as they may affect the Academy or its members. 
In August 1807, John Landseer the engraver (who had 
in the previous year been elected an Associate Engraver), 
addressed a letter to the President, Council, and members 
of the Academy, setting forth the national importance of 
the art of engraving, and urging the claims of engravers 
to be admitted to the higher honours of the Eoyal 
Academy. This he did in a very calm and sensible way, 
and finally submitted three measures which appeared to 
him necessary for the benefit of his art. The first pro- 
posal was, that as it had been the general custom to elect 

VOL. I. T 



274 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. VHI. 

certain proportionate numbers of painters, sculptors, and 
architects, as Eoyal Academicians, it would not be dispro- 
portionate "if the Academy were to enact that four 
engravers should be engrafted, so as either to constitute 
part of the forty, or be added to the number" thus 
placing engraving, in point of relative importance to art, 
in the aggregate as four to forty or forty-four. The second 
suggestion was, that there should be a Professor of 
Engraving, " whose duty it shall be to ascertain and 
explain to the students in engraving, the existing, and as 
far as may be, the possible analogies between their art 
and that of painting ; " and the third point was, that a 
room or a side of a room, might be allotted at the annual 
exhibition, for the display of unpublished or recently 
published prints of merit, so that they might '-not be 
eclipsed in the public notice by being mixed with large 
pictures." The several proposals thus made were not 
favourably entertained by the Academy at the time, and 
in the long interval which elapsed before the establish- 
ment of the new order of Academician Engravers in 
1855, engravers made many efforts to have their claims 
to a higher grade than that of Associates recognised. 
Thus a petition was presented to the Prince Eegent in 
1812, and another to Parliament on the subject in 1826, 
the latter being referred to the Committee on Arts and 
Manufactures ; and in 1837 the engravers memorialised 
King William IV. ; but on each occasion the answer was 
adverse to their claims. 1 

Several details in the management of the affairs of the 
Academy underwent revision in the year 1809. It 'was 
in this year that the " varnishing days " were appointed, 
whereby the members of the Academy were granted the 
privilege of retouching and varnishing their pictures after 



1 A full account of the discussion part in advocating the claims of en- 

on this subject will be found in gravers to admission to the rank of 

" The Patronage of British Art," by Royal Academicians. 
John Pye, who took a prominent 



CH. VIIL] "VARNISHING DAYS" 275 

they were hung, and prior to the opening of the exhi- 
bition. This practice prevailed till 1852, when it was 
discontinued, many of the members being willing to sur- 
render an advantage which could not be extended to all 
the exhibitors. One reason assigned for its continuance 
was, that the works of Turner especiaUy gained so 
wondrously by his labours on the varnishing days, that it 
would have operated most injuriously on his pictures 
to have withheld the privilege. Leslie, in his "Auto- 
biographical Eecollections," says, " I believe had the 
varnishing days been abolished while Turner lived, it 
would almost have broken his heart. He said, ' You will 
do away with the only social meetings we have,' and he 
painted all the effects of his pictures on those occasions." 
The broad light of the exhibition-room may probably 
discover some defects, and contrast with other works may 
enable the artist to discern want of tone and finish in his 
pictures, which were unnoticed in the comparative ob- 
scurity of his own studio ; hence many works would no 
doubt be greatly improved by the process, although in 
others it was not only unnecessary, but was sometimes 
carried to excess, in the endeavour to attain what artists 
term the " exhibition pitch " of effect. 

In August 1809, George Dance and Joseph Farington, 
the auditors of the accounts of the Eoyal Academy, 
presented to the President and Council a report of its 
income and expenditure, in which they recommended 
certain regulations to increase the one and diminish the 
other. They represented that the 26,000 stock produced 
an annual income of 702, and the exhibition an average 
of 2196, giving a total of 2898. That the expen- 
diture of the three preceding years, exclusive of the 
expense of the exhibition, was 2392 10s., and that 
there was therefore a probable saving of 505 10s., 
which, if invested, would in ten years raise the permanent 
income of the Academy from its fund to 1000. To 
effect this object they proposed three modes of retrench- 

T 2 



276 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. VIII. 

ment the expenses of the exhibition, the cost of the 
tavern dinners on the King's and Queen's birthdays, and 
the amount of donations over and above the pension list. 

To attain the first of these objects it was proposed that 
the number of persons invited to the exhibition dinner 
should not exceed 150, including all the members of the 
Academy, and that these should not be selected by the 
influence of private friendship, or by yielding to the 
importunity of acquaintances, but should, as originally 
intended, consist of the highest orders of society, and the 
most distinguished characters and patrons of art. Next, 
that the price of the catalogue should be raised from 
sixpence to one shilling a change which the auditors 
stated was justified by the price of paper at that time, and 
by the fact that there were scarcely any sales of pictures 
or books at which the catalogues were sold for less than 
one shilling. The saving thus effected was estimated at 
700. Further, they recommended that the expense of 
the tavern dinners on the birthdays of the King and 
Queen should be borne by those who were present at 
those entertainments thus saving 112 annually to the 
Academy ; and, finally, it was proposed, as 500 per 
annum had been expended in charity during the last three 
years, to add no new names to the donation list until the 
sum was reduced to the limit of the income derivable 
from the fund applicable for such purposes. 

These recommendations were acted upon, and proved 
of great advantage to the Academy in augmenting its 
permanent income. In recognition of the services of 
the auditors on this occasion, the Council in the same year 
voted 50 for plate, or otherwise, both to Farington and 
Dance. Several previous instances are recorded of com- 
plimentary presents having been made by the Academy 
to members or others who had rendered especial ser- 
vice to it. A silver cup was awarded in 1769 to J. B. 
Cipriani, for his beautiful design for the diploma ; another 
to F. M. Newton, when he resigned the appointment of 



CH. VIII.] COMPLIMENTAEY PRESENTS 277 

Secretary, which he had held from 1768 to 1788; a 
similar mark of esteem was given to George Dance and 
Wm. Tyler in 1799, when they completed the inves- 
tigation of the financial affairs of the Academy up to that 
date ; a silver cup was also voted in the same year to 
Miss Margaret Gainsborough, who had presented to the 
Eoyal Academy a portrait by Thomas Gainsborough, and 
who subsequently also gave his own portrait painted by 
himself. In 1809 a similar gift was made, for the reason 
already stated, to Farington and Dance ; and in 1810 a 
present of twenty guineas was made to J. F. Eigaud, E.A., 
who was acting in that year as Deputy-Librarian. 

The fiftieth anniversary of the accession of George III. 
was celebrated in November 1809, by the presentation 
of an address to the King, and by the Academicians 
dining together, at their own individual expense, in the 
Council Chamber of the Academy at Somerset House, 
which was illuminated on the occasion. In 1810 the 
Professorship of Sculpture was instituted, John Flaxman 
being the first to occupy the chair, than whom none was 
better qualified for the office, which he held for sixteen 
years from this time with so much distinction to himself 
and advantage to the students in sculpture. 

This period was not a favourable one for the promotion 
or encouragement of art. The Peninsular war, while it 
engrossed chief attention, also absorbed all the superfluous 
resources even of the wealthy ; yet the President endea- 
voured to encourage the professors of the arts in the midst 
of the gloom, by the hope of Eoyal favour being at some 
more propitious season extended to them. Thus, in his dis- 
course on 10th December, 1811, he said, " But, gentlemen, 
let us not despair ; we have heard from this place of the 
promise of patronage from the Prince Eegent the pro- 
pitious light of a morning that will open into perfect day, 
invigorating the growth of all around; the assurance of a 
new era in the elevation of the fine arts in the United King- 
dom." His discourse on this occasion referred especially to 



278 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. VIII. 

historical painting, and contained remarks on the works of 
Michael Angelo, Eaphael, Leonardi de Vinci, Titian, and 
others. In speaking of the British Institution, he described 
it as " another honourable establishment sanctioned by 
his Majesty for promoting the fine arts which has been 
created, composed of noblemen and gentlemen whose 
known zeal for the success of refined art is so conspicuous, 
and honourable to themselves." 

Meanwhile, the British Institution was offering pre- 
miums of considerable value as prizes for compositions on 
specified subjects, and for the best works in their exhi- 
bitions. Between 1807 and 1826, about 7000 was 
thus awarded 1000 being given in 1807, to J. Pocock, 
for his picture of ' Thomas a Becket,' and 1000 guineas 
in 1817, to James Ward, E.A., for an allegory of 'The 
Battle of Waterloo.' Among the other recipients of 
premiums varying from 50 to 300 guineas, were 
G. Dance, E.A., B. E. Haydon, W. Hilton, E.A., G. Dawe, 
E.A., E. Bird, E.A., C. L. Eastlake,E.A., H. Howard, E.A., 
A. Cooper, E.A., G. Jones, E.A., E. Landseer, E.A., John 
Martin, and other artists of distinction. Sometimes the 
directors purchased works from the artist, and generously 
gave them at a later period to the National Gallery. 
Thus for West's picture of ' Christ healing the Sick,' they 
gave 3000 guineas, and 1800 guineas to Charles Heath, 
for engraving it. Hilton received from them 550 guineas 
for the ' Magdalen washing the Feet of Christ,' and in 
1825, a thousand guineas for his picture of ' Christ 
crowned with Thorns.' Their liberality was further ex- 
hibited by the purchase for 1050 guineas, of a landscape 
by Gainsborough (for which he only received 20 guineas 
originally), and of the ' Holy Family,' by Sir J. Eeynolds, 
for 1900 guineas. These, with two works by Paulo 
Veronese and Parmegiano, costing 5000 guineas, are also 
now in the National collection. 

Besides this liberal patronage, the Governors of the 
British Institution determined upon a plan for organising 



CH. VIII.] COMMEMOKATION OF EEYNOLDS 279 

a festival in honour of Sir Joshua Eeynolds. This happy 
idea was first suggested by a lover of the arts at the 
Eoyal Academy dinner in 1 8 1 1 . It was warmly applauded 
by the Prince Eegent, who was present, and who offered 
to contribute several works by the late President in his 
own possession. This " commemoration of Eeynolds " 
took place in 1813, when 113 of his works were gathered 
together for exhibition to the public, and included some 
of his finest productions. It was inaugurated by a banquet 
at Willis's Eooms, at which the Prince Eegent was present, 
and at which all who were distinguished in position and 
associated with the encouragement of the arts, were 
specially invited to attend. This was the first public 
exhibition of the works of any individual British artist, 
and was a great treat to the lovers of English art who 
were thus able to judge of the skill and taste of Eeynolds, 
not only in portraiture, but in historical composition, 
combined with colour and effect. So attractive was this 
assemblage of the works of a single artist of eminence, 
that in the following year the idea was further extended 
by forming a collection of the works of Hogarth, Zoffany, 
Wilson, and Gainsborough ; and again in 1817 by the 
exhibition of a mixed assemblage of works of deceased 
British artists. 

After the battle of Waterloo, it was proposed by the 
Government to expend 500,000 upon a national memo- 
rial of the victory, which should be illustrated by the three 
decorative arts painting, sculpture, and architecture, 
and a communication was made to the Eoyal Academy 
with a view to some plan being arranged for carrying out 
the idea. A letter, written by West to Sir George 
Beaumont, dated from Cowes, 30th September, 1815, 
acknowledges the receipt of his communication announcing 
that the Treasury had intimated the commands of the 
Prince Eegent that measures be taken forthwith for the 
erection of a monument to commemorate the victory of 
Waterloo in pursuance of an address of the House of 



280 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. VIII. 

Commons, and gives his own suggestions as to the mode 
in which it should be constructed. A column had been 
proposed, but West thought such a victory demanded a 
building of greater magnitude and more national impor- 
tance. He proposed one as follows : " Its base a square 
of sixty feet and its height thirty ; from the centre of this 
base, a building thirty feet in diameter and 120 high, 
formed out of the spoils of victory, diminishing as it rises, 
to be surmounted by a figure twelve feet high. In the 
centre to be an equestrian group of the Duke of Wel- 
lington, under which ' Waterloo ' should be inscribed ; 
the four angles to contain tablets of record, and statues 
of generals. The interior to be a place of deposit for 
preserving the powers of the pen, the pencil, and other 
gems from perishing ; all the ornaments of the building to 
be of metal, and to be illustrative of the victory." A 
long delay took place on the part of the Government in 
acting upon these suggestions. The national desire for a 
memorial of the great battle died away, and other uses 
were found for the money intended to be applied to this 
purpose, so that the grand Art-project fell to the 
ground. 

The visit of Canova, the eminent Italian sculptor, to 
England, afforded the Eoyal Academy an opportunity of 
doing him honour. He, and his companions in travel 
were invited to meet the members of the Academy at a 
dinner, which they gave especially for the purpose at their 
rooms in Somerset House on the 1st of December, 1815. 
During his stay in England the great sculptor was called 
upon by the Government to aid them by his opinion on 
the sculptured marbles of the Parthenon, which were 
afterwards, on the recommendation of a Committee of the 
House of Commons, purchased from the Earl of Elgin 
(and hence called the Elgin Marbles) in 1816 for 35,000. 
Canova thought highly of them, and his estimate of them 
was shared by Nollekens, Flaxman, Westmacott, Chantrey 
and Rossi, all Eoyal Academicians, who gave their testi- 



CH. VIII.] CASE OF G. H. HABLOWE 281 

mony before the Parliamentary Committee in their favour, 
as being unequalled by anything previously brought to 
this country. In consequence of these opinions as to 
their value, they became national property, were deposited 
in the British Museum, and are now largely studied by 
artists. 

In 1815, the privilege of selecting from the Dulwich 
Gallery a number of pictures not exceeding six, for the 
purpose of being copied by the students, was granted to 
the Eoyal Academy. A school of painting was formed 
for the purpose, on a similar plan to that of the British 
Institution, arid a curator appointed to the charge of it. 
Premiums were given for the best copies from these pic- 
tures from that time till 1852, when the practice was abo- 
lished ; and a medal for the best painting from the living 
draped model was substituted as likely to prove of more 
real use to the student. 

An instance of rejecting a candidate for the associateship 
occurred at this period, which has since, as it appears to 
us, been unfairly censured. It was in the case of George 
Henry Harlowe, formerly a pupil of Lawrence, who dis- 
missed him in consequence of his having publicly claimed 
as his own a picture of ' Mrs. Angerstein and her Dog,' on 
which he had been employed by his master to dead- 
colour. In revenge for his dismissal he painted a carica- 
ture of Lawrence's style on a sign-board at Epsom, and 
signed it " T. L. Greek Street, Soho." He never studied at 

o * 

the Eoyal Academy, and considered such instruction as 
destructive of originality. He subsequently painted some 
good pictures and portraits, and offered himself as a can- 
didate for the rank of associate. Only one member, 
Fuseli, voted for his admission, and this, " not for the 
man," he said, " but for the talent." It was the prodigal 
habits, and unbridled tongue and passions of " the man," 
however, which, in the eyes of the rest of the Academi- 
cians, disqualified him for the position he sought. Foreign 
academies admitted him to their honours, but he could 



282 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. VIII. 

not with propriety have taken a place among the members 
of our own Boyal Academy who are required, by the In- 
strument of Institution, to be " men of fair moral charac- 
ters," as well as artists of distinction. 

The practice of sending travelling students abroad, was 
necessarily suspended during the long European war, and 
was not resumed until the conclusion of hostilities ; but a 
pecuniary compensation was made to those who would 
have been entitled to the privilege in more peaceful 
times. We have already mentioned poor Thomas Proctor, 
the sculptor, who was elected for this favour in 1793, but 
died before leaving England. Two years afterwards, 
William Artaud, a painter, was selected, receiving the in- 
creased allowance of 100 a year which was authorised 
in 1790. No students were sent abroad between 1795 
and 1818, when Lewis Vulliamy, an architect, obtained 
an allowance of 130 for three years the grant having 
been increased to that amount in the preceding year. It 
continued at this rate till 1832, when it was reduced to 
100, with travelling expenses of 30 out, and 30 home. 

The operation of the rules in regard to the award of 
pensions, underwent alteration, as the capital from which 
they were to be paid reached the amounts fixed by the 
resolutions passed in 1796 as the basis for augmenting 
such grants. In 1809 the pension fund reached 15,000, 
and, between that year and 1816, the claimants upon it 
received pensions according to the higher rate then to be 
awarded. The average of these years was an expenditure 
of 185 5. 11^. a year on members of the Academy or 
their widows. In 1817, the fund having reached 20,000, 
the full amount of pensions specified by the law were 
paid. In 1820, a further increase was authorised, with- 
out, however, increasing the capital from which they were 
paid, and the following scale has ever since been acted 
upon : 

An Academician 105, provided it did not make his income exceed 200 
per annum. 



CH. VIII. j FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY 283 

An Associate 75, provided it did not make his income exceed 160 per 
annum. 

An Academician's Widow 75, provided it did not make her income 
exceed 160 per annum. 

An Associate's Widow 45, provided it did not make her income exceed 
100 per annum. 

The average expenditure during the last forty years, 
according to this rule, has been about 600 the 
amount of the interest upon the sum invested for the 
purpose. 

On the 10th December, 1818, the Eoyal Academy com- 
pleted the fiftieth year of its existence, and it was proposed 
to celebrate the event by some enduring memorials. 
Among these a history of its rise and progress, a record 
of what it had accomplished, and a biographical account 
of its members, illustrated with portraits, and produced in 
a style worthy of the Academy, was the first proposed ; 
and it is much to be regretted that it was afterwards 
deemed inexpedient to carry out the idea, since much 
valuable information could then have been collected which 
is now for ever lost, both as regards the Academy itself 
and its early members. A private record was afterwards 
proposed to be substituted for this published one, but 
none appears to have been made. Another plan was to 
have a medal struck to commemorate the jubilee, but this 
also was abandoned, and the only celebration was a 
dinner given to all the members at the Eoyal Academy 
on the anniversary. 

While thus the Academy was rejoicing in its jubilee 
year, the venerable President, who fifty years before was 
among its first members, was insensibly losing energy, and 
passing away in the slow and easy decay of old age. 
When he was in his seventy-ninth year, he lost his tender 
devoted wife, Elizabeth Shewell, and although he still pur- 
sued his appointed duties, and worked at his easel, he 
never really survived the shock caused by this separation 
from his home-companion of half a century. With unim- 
paired mental faculties, and with the same simple contented 



284 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. VIII. 

spirit which he had possessed through his long life, he 
expired on the llth of March, 1820, in the 82nd year 
of his age. 

His body was laid in state in the smaller exhibition 
room on the ground floor of Somerset House, and Leslie 
thus describes, in one of his letters to his sister, the sad 
ceremonial of the funeral : 

" It was arranged exactly on the plan of that of Sir Joshua 
Reynolds. An apartment on the ground-floor of the Academy 
was hung and carpeted with black, the daylight entirely excluded, 
and the room lighted by a number of tall wax-candles, placed 
at regular distances on the floor, around the coffin, which was 
covered by a pall and lid of black feathers. Against the wall, 
at the head of the corpse, hung the hatchment, bearing the 
family arms. No one remained in the room, excepting Robert, 
West's old servant, who had sat up there all the preceding 
night. My feelings were greatly affected by this scene. The 
company who were to attend the funeral assembled in a large 
upper room, where they were provided with black silk scarves 
and hatbands, the Academicians wearing long black cloaks. It 
was interesting to see persons of different ranks and different 
nations, and of well-known different political sentiments, meet- 
ing on this occasion, and uniting in the last tribute of respect 
to a man of genius. The service was performed by Dr. Welles- 
ley, brother to the Duke of Wellington. In one part of it a 
very beautiful anthem was sung by the boys of the choir, the 
effects of which, with the fine organ of St. Paul's, was such as 
Milton has described in the ' Penseroso.' " 

He was buried beside Eeynolds, Opie and Barry, 
in the crypt of the cathedral. The funeral procession 
made a splendid cortege : the pall was borne by noble- 
men, ambassadors and Academicians ; his two sons and 
his grandson were the chief mourners ; all the members 
of the Academy, and many lovers of the arts paid their 
respectful tribute to his memory, and sixty coaches fol- 
lowed the remains of the simple Quaker's son to their last 
resting-place. 

The Koyal Academy lost in Benjamin West an excellent 



CH. VIII.] INFLUENCE OF WEST AS PEESIDENT 285 

President, who, if he possessed not the artistic genius of 
his predecessor, nor the same literary ability to address 
the students on the theory and practice of art, yet exer- 
cised a beneficial influence over all its members. His 
perfect command of temper, his uniform courtesy of man- 
ner, and above all, his real kindness of heart, were felt by 
all with whom he was brought into communication. He 
never considered it an intrusion to be consulted by the 
young artist he was liberal and generous to the full ex- 
tent of his means, and was ready to befriend by his pa- 
tronage, and assist with his purse, all who needed the 
help it was in his power to render. " No one was more 
accessible," says Leslie, " nor, I may add, so well quali- 
fied to give advice in any branch of art. He had 
generally a levee of artists at his house every morning 
before he began work. Nor did a shabby coat or an 
old hat ever occasion his door to be shut in the face of 
the wearer." By his own personal example, moral and 
social, and as a laborious, never-wearying professor of 
the arts, he was alike a pattern of purity, kindness, 
and perseverance to all who desired to win respect or 
renown. 

He outlived all the foundation members of the Eoyal 
Academy, with the exception of George Dance ; and of 
the original forty, only two others, Cosway and Nollekens, 
survived. Since the death of Keynolds, fourteen of the 
rmaining original members had passed away ; these 
were Catton, Paul Sandby, Bartolozzi, Eichards, Serres, 
Newton, A. Kauffman, Mary Moser, Zoffany and Hoare, 
the painters ; Wilton and Tyler, the sculptors ; and 
Thomas Sandby and Sir W. Chambers, the architects. 
Sixteen of the members elected during Eeynolds's pre- 
sidentship were also gone ; these were James Barry, 
De Loutherbourg, Copley, Garvey, J. F. Eigaud, Opie, 
Hodges, Eussell, Hamilton, Webber, Wheatley and 
Humphrey, the painters ; Burch, Bacon and Banks, the 
sculptors ; and J. Wyatt, the architect. 



286 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [Cn. VIII. 

During the twenty-eight years of West's president- 
ship forty new members were elected Eoyal Acade- 
micians, of whom an account will be given in the next 
chapter ; eight of these died within the same period. 
Among the associates, sixteen vacancies had occurred ; 
eleven of these were painters, viz. George James, E. 
Martin, Zucchi, M. A. Eooker, Eebecca, Tomkins, Elmer, 
Edwards, Nixon, Stubbs and Wright ; and five associate 
engravers, viz. Major, Browne, Green, Haward and Anker 
Smith. Their places were supplied by ten painters, one 
architect, and five engravers, whose history we shah 1 trace 
after those of the Eoyal Academicians elected during the 
same period. 

Among the officers of the Academy several changes had 
taken place. The increasing infirmities of John Eichards, 
the secretary, rendered the assistance of a deputy neces- 
sary, and in 1810 Henry Howard was appointed, and 
became secretary, by election, in the following year, when 
Mr. Eichards died. Eobert Srnirke was elected to succeed 
Wilton, as keeper, in 1804 ; but his election was not con- 
firmed by his Majesty, and Henry Fuseli was subsequently 
appointed. The office of librarian had been filled by 
Dominic Serres tih 1 1793, Edward Burch till 1814, and 
subsequently by Thomas Stothard, who, with Paul Sandby 
and J. F. Eigaud, had previously acted for short periods 
as deputy-librarians. John Yenn had been nominated, as 
we have seen, to succeed Chambers as treasurer, and held 
the office from 1796 to 1820 by the Eoyal warrant. The 
professors of painting had been frequently changed. 
Barry held the office when West became president. 
When he was expelled, in 1799, Henry Fuseli succeeded, 
but resigned in 1805. John Opie held the professorship 
for two years, and Henry Tresham from 1807 to 1809, 
when he resigned, and Fuseli was re-appointed. The 
first Professor of Architecture, Thomas Sandby, died in 
1798 ; he was succeeded by George Dance, who resigned 
in 1805, when Sir John Soane was elected in his stead, 



CH. VHL] CHANGES AMONG THE OFFICERS 287 

and held the office for thirty years. Edward Edwards, 
the Professor of Perspective, died in 1806, and was suc- 
ceeded by Turner in 1807, who continued for thirty years 
to hold the appointment. The new professorship of 
sculpture had been filled throughout West's presidentship 
by John Flaxman. John Sheldon, the Professor of 
Anatomy, had been succeeded by Sir Anthony Carlisle in 
1808. Among the honorary members some changes had 
also taken place. The office of chaplain had been filled 
successively by the Bishops of Killaloe and Exeter. The 
Secretary for Foreign Correspondence, James Boswell, 
had been succeeded by Prince Hoare in 1799 ; the Pro- 
fessor of Ancient History, Edward Gibbon, by William 
Mitford, after remaining some years vacant. Samuel 
Lysons had been appointed Antiquary in 1818 ; and the 
professorship of Ancient Literature had passed from 
Bennet Langton to Dr. Charles Burney in 1803, and in 
1818 to the Bishop of London, afterwards Archbishop of 
Canterbury. 

The financial position of the Academy had greatly 
improved during the period in which West was president. 
The receipts from the exhibition and other sources, 
which were nearly 3000 a-year in 1792, amounted to 
6299 10s. 2d. in 1820, the exhibition alone producing 
4650 14s., a portion of this increase being attributed to 
the rise in the price of the catalogue, effected in 1809. 
Besides some 190 a-year expended in pensions, a yearly 
distribution of donations was made to those who needed 
assistance ; these gifts, which amounted to 111 11s. in 
1792, reached an average of nearly 400 a-year in 1820 ; 
so that while the funded capital of 20,000 was secured 
during this period, it was not obtained by diminishing the 
liberality of the Academy to artists or their families, but 
out of the large surplus arising from a steadily-increasing 
prosperity. 

The exhibitions during this period had annually en- 
larged ; and if they had changed their appearance by the 



288 HISTOKY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. VIII. 

discontinuance of the works of the early members who 
had passed away, they had not lost their interest when 
displaying the works of succeeding members, and the 
rising artists of the day. At the beginning of this period 
there were West's historical and Scripture pieces; the 
designs of Bartolozzi, Smirke, Stothard, Fuseli, Hamilton, 
Westall, Northcote and Wheatley; portraits in oil by 
Lawrence, -Beechey and Bigg, in crayons by Eussell, and 
in miniatures by Ozias Humphreys ; and sculptured groups 
and busts by Banks, Nollekens and Bacon. The number 
of contributions, which was 856 in 1793, rose to 1100 in 
1800, but fluctuated between 813 and 908 during the 
years of the Peninsular war. A popular picture in the 
exhibition following the peace was the portrait by Law- 
rence of ' Field-Marshal the Duke of Wellington holding 
the Sword of State, on the last day of the public thanks- 
giving at St. Paul's.' In 1819 the number of works 
exhibited was 1248, the largest number ever seen, up to 
that time, on the walls of the Academy, including portraits 
by Beechey, Owen, Shee and Jackson ; a scene in Holland, 
a fine work by Callcott ; three striking landscapes by 
Turner : ' England,' ' Eichmond Hill,' and the ' Entrance 
of the Meuse ; ' Wilkie's ( Penny Wedding ; ' Leslie's ' Sir 
Eoger de Coverley ; ' West's sketch of the ' Eesurrection,' 
and ' Csesar reading the Exploits of Alexander ; ' besides 
the varied contributions of Chantrey, Baily, Flaxman and 
Westmacott, the sculptors, the landscapes of Constable, 
Collins, Turner, the two Daniells, and Westall, the 
horses and battle pieces of Abraham Cooper, the por- 
traits by Beechey, Jackson, Owen, Phillips and Shee, 
the historical and domestic scenes portrayed by Hilton, 
West, Wilkie, Mulready, Newton, Stothard and others. 
Thus the exhibition retained some few specimens of the 
works of the early members of the Academy, but chiefly 
derived its attractions from those of the men who, then in 
their youth and prime, have since also passed away. 
A striking feature of the exhibitions in Somerset House, 



CH. VHL] DIPLOMA PICTURES 289 

which is wanting at the present time, was the collection 
of " diploma .pictures," by deceased members, and other 
works presented to the Academy, which were exhibited in 
the council-room. There were sixty-eight of these in the 
catalogue of 1819 at least as many more have been 
added in subsequent years. What an interesting history 
of the growth of the English School would these works 
afford in our day, if there were space available for their 
arrangement in chronological order, and for the public 
exhibition of them at the same time with the new 
pictures by living artists ! 



VOL. i. u 



290 



CHAPTEE IX. 

EOYAL ACADEMICIANS ELECTED DUKING THE PKESIDENCY 

OF BENJAMIN WEST. 
President: WEST. 

Painters: R. SMIRKE, Sir F. BOURGEOIS, T. STOTHARD, Sir T. LAWRENCE 
(future President), R. WESTALL, J. HOPPNER, S. GILPIN, Sir W. 
BEECHEY, H. TRESHAM, T. DANIELL, Sir M. A. SHEE (future Presi- 
dent), J. M. W. TURNER, H. THOMSON, W. OWEN, S. WOODFORDE, 
H. HOWARD, T. PHILLIPS, Sir A. W. CALLCOTT, Sir D. WILKIE, 
J. WARD, H. BONE, P. RELNAGLE, G. DAWE, W. R. BIGG, Sir 
H. RAEBTTRN, E. BIRD, W. MULREADY, A. E. C.HALON, J. JACKSON, 
W. HILTON, A. COOPER, and W. COLLINS. 

Sculptors : J. FLAXMAN, C. Rossi, N. MARCHANT, Sir R. WESTMACOTT, 
W. THEED, and Sir F. CHANTREY. 

Architects : Sir J. SOANE, and Sir R. SMIRKE, JUN. 

A COMPLETE change among the members of the Eoyal 
-"L Academy occurred before the second President 
closed his career, and a second generation had arisen in 
the place of the original founders of the then firmly- 
established institution. Forty Academicians were elected 
under West's presidentship, of whom 32 were painters, 
6 sculptors, and 2 architects. 

The painters were elected to full academic honours 
in the following order: 1793, R. Smirke, and Sir 
F. Bourgeois ; 1794, Thomas Stothard, Sir Thomas 
Lawrence (afterwards President), and Richard Westall ; 
1795,J.Hoppner; 1797, S. Gilpin; 1798, Sir W. Beechey ; 
1799, H. Tresham and T. Daniell ; 1800, Sir M. A. Shee 
(afterwards President) ; 1802, J. M. W. Turner ; 1804, H. 
Thomson; 1806, W. Owen; 1807, S. Woodforde; 1808, 
H. Howard and T. Phillips ; 1810, Sir A. W. Callcott; 



CH. IX.] BENJAMIN WEST 291 

1811, Sir D. Wilkie, J. Ward and H. Bone ; 1812, 
P. Eeinagle; 1814, G. Dawe, and W. E. Bigg; 1815, 
E. Bird and Sir H. Eaeburn; 1816, W. Mulready and 
A. E. Chalon; 1817, J. Jackson; 1819, W. Hilton; 
1820, A. Cooper and W. Collins. The sculptors were 
J. Flaxman (1800), C. Eossi (1802), N. Marchant (1809), 
Sir E. Westmacott (1811), W. Theed (1813), and Sir F. 
Chantrey (1818). The architects were Sir J. Soane (1802), 
and Sir E. Smirke, jun. (1811). 

Before giving a brief biographical notice of each of 
these new members, we must briefly trace the outline of 
the career of the second President, BENJAMIN WEST, whose 
history, so far as it has not already been referred to, we 
reserved for the commencement of this chapter. He was 
born on the 10th of October, 1738, at Springfield, in 
Pennsylvania, and was the tenth child of Quaker parents, 
John and Sarah West, his father being one of the 
West family of Long Crendon, in Bucks. Young Benjamin 
was prematurely born, his mother having given birth to 
her illustrious son shortly after listening to a vehement 
field-preacher ; and many predictions as to his future 
destiny arose from the peculiar circumstances of his birth. 
His first essay in art was made as early as his seventh 
year, when, being set to watch the cradle of his sister, he 
was struck by her smile while sleeping, and at once 
attempted to take her portrait in red and black ink. 
Thus he began to draw without having seen painters or 
painting, or even prints, and received his first lessons in 
the art of preparing his colours from some wandering 
Eed Cherokee Indians, who, looking at his drawings, 
showed him theirs by way of contrast. Eed and yellow 
colours given by these rude artists, indigo from his 
mother, and a brush formed of hairs from her cat's back, 
were his first materials for painting. Subsequently he had 
a box of paints and pencils, and some canvas prepared for 
the easel, given him by a relative, a merchant of Phila- 
delphia, named Penm'ngton, who also bought him some 

u 2 



292 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. IX. 

engravings by Grevling, from which, for several succes- 
sive days, he continued to copy, unknown to his parents. 

Subsequently he went with this relation to Philadelphia, 
where he painted a view of the banks of the river, and saw, 
for the first time, the works of an artist, named Williams, 
who, struck by the boy's enthusiasm, lent him the treatises 
of Du Fresnoy and Eichardson on painting to study. 
Thus aided and encouraged, West resolved to be a painter ; 
and his works exciting attention in so quiet a place as 
Springfield, several residents in the neighbourhood aided 
him in his efforts, and taught him how to educate his 
mind so as properly to deal with classic subjects. When 
in his sixteenth year, the Quaker community gravely 
discussed the propriety of allowing one of their young 
members to follow such a vain and sensual occupation as 
that of a painter ; but its high purposes were set forth by 
some of those present, and at the conclusion of the 
meeting it was resolved to allow him to proceed in the 
course for which Providence seemed to have qualified 
him ; the women rose and kissed the young artist, and 
the men one by one laid their hands on his head ; and 
from that time forth, West felt himself to be dedicated to 
art, and pledged only to employ it on subjects holy and 
pure, an intention he never lost sight of, and steadily 
pursued to the end of his career. 

Shortly after this, he joined a party of volunteers, under 
Major Sir P. Halkett (of the old Highland watch, the 
42nd Eegiment), who went in search of the relics of the 
gallant troops of General Forbes, who were lost in the 
desert by the unfortunate General Braddock. From this 
expedition he returned to the dying bed of his mother. 
Subsequently he quitted his home, and in his eighteenth 
year established himself as a portrait painter in Phila- 
delphia. He obtained many sitters, receiving two and a 
half guineas for a head, and five for a half-length portrait. 
His first historical picture was the ' Death of Socrates,' 
the figure of the slave being painted from that of one of 



CH. IX.] BENJAMIN WEST 293 

the workmen of Mr. Henry, a gunsmith, by whom the 
subject was suggested to him. He afterwards removed to 
New York, doubling his prices for portraits, and still 
finding ample employment. By the aid of one of the 
merchants there, named Kelly, he fulfilled a long-cherished 
desire of visiting Italy, and reached Eome on the 10th of 
July, 1760. Lord Grantham first took notice of the 
young American, and he speedily attracted the attention 
of the visitors to the Italian capital. Mengs, Gavin 
Hamilton, and Dance, the artists, were there at the time, 
and became his friends. After studying the art-treasures 
of the Eternal City, West, at their suggestion, proceeded 
to Florence, Bologna and Parma. He was elected a 
member of the academies of those cities, and afterwards 
returned to Eome. In the interim he painted two 
pictures, ' Cimon and Iphigenia ' and ' Angelica and 
Medora,' which were favourable specimens of his skill. 

On the 20th of June, 1763, West arrived in London, 
where several of his artist friends in Eome were ready to 
welcome him. Through Mengs he became acquainted 
with Wilson, was introduced to Eeynolds, and at once 
determined to remain in England, taking chambers and a 
studio in Bedford Street, Covent Garden. There was an 
opening for a historical painter at the time, and his first 
pictures exhibited at the Society of Artists (those painted 
in Italy, and a portrait of General Monkton, second in 
command at the battle of Quebec) were favourably re- 
ceived. West became acquainted at this time with Dr. 
Johnson and Burke, and received commissions for a 
painting of 'Hector and Andromache,' for Dr. Newton, 
and the 'Eeturn of the Prodigal,' for the Bishop of 
Worcester. Lord Eockingham offered him 700 a year 
to paint historical pictures for his mansion in Yorkshire ; 
but this, after consultation with his friends, he declined, 
as his successful beginning led him to wish to keep his 
works before the public. 

An early attachment he had formed for a young lady 



294 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. EX. 

of Philadelphia, Elizabeth Shewell, led him to wish to 
return to America to marry her ; but he was advised to 
send for her, as his absence from England, just as he was 
attracting notice, might have been disastrous to his future 
prospects. She was, for these reasons, persuaded to 
accompany his father to England, and West was married 
to her on the 2nd of September, 1765, at the Church of 
St. Martin-in-the-Fields. About the same time an en- 
thusiastic patron of art, Dr. Drummond, Archbishop of 
York, was so pleased with West's pictures that he requested 
him to paint one for him, representing the ' Landing of 
Agrippina with the Ashes of Germanicus ; ' and he 
followed up this mark of approval by proposing to obtain 
for him an annuity, if he would exclusively devote him- 
self to historical painting, and altogether relinquish por- 
traiture. He and his friends subscribed 1500 ; but the 
public did not co-operate with them, and the project was 
therefore abandoned. The archbishop, meanwhile, made 
known to the King the arrival of the devout Quaker 
from America, and his Majesty requested to see the 
artist and his productions. West was sent for to the 
palace, was graciously received, and was at once ordered 
to paint the * Departure of Eegulus from Eome,' for the 
King's collection. His Majesty read the account from 
Livy to the artist ; and during the time the work was 
going on he was frequently invited to spend the evening 
at Buckingham House, where he was often detained by 
the King as late as eleven o'clock, discoursing on topics 
connected with the best means of promoting the study of 
the fine arts in the kingdom. Gait, his biographer, says 
that it was in these conversations that the plan of the 
Eoyal Academy was digested. Thus commenced a career 
of nearly forty years of Eoyal patronage, amounting almost 
to personal friendship with the gracious Sovereign, who, 
besides the many other qualities for which his memory is 
revered, did so much to advance the arts in this kingdom. 
We have already seen that West had been a member and 



CH. IX.] BENJAMIN WEST 295 

director of the old Incorporated Society of Artists, and that 
while the ' Eegulus' was being painted, the plan of forming 
the Eoyal Academy had been matured ; and we have also 
noticed that, among West's subsequent works, he excited at 
first a discussion, but afterwards praise, by commencing in 
his picture of ' The Death of Wolfe ' an innovation on the 
style of painting then prevailing, by representing all the 
persons introduced, in the costume of the time and country 
in which they lived. A long series of historical pictures, 
painted for George III., followed (most of which are now 
at Hampton Court and Windsor) some from classic 
story, others from English history and Scripture. Among 
them were eight scenes from the life of Edward III., for 
St. George's Hall. Subsequently, he proposed to the 
King to paint a series of thirty-six subjects, illustrating 
the progress of revealed religion, for his Majesty's Chapel 
in the Horn's Court of Windsor Castle ; first obtaining 
from Bishop Hurd, Bishop Douglas, and the Dean of 
Windsor, an assurance that they and the dignitaries 
of the Church saw no objection to such paintings in a 
place of worship. These designs were divided into four 
dispensations Antediluvian, Patriarchal, Mosaic, and 
Prophetic, apportioned equally between the Old and 
New Testaments. The Chapel was to be ninety feet 
long by fifty wide, and Wyatt received orders to carry 
out the plan ; the grand flight of steps in the great stair- 
case at Windsor Castle, executed by that architect, being 
intended to lead into the Eoyal Closet in the new Chapel 
of Eevealed Eeligion. Twenty-eight of the pictures were 
executed before the final illness of the King, for which 
West received 21,705. West also painted nine pictures 
of portraits of the Eoyal Family, receiving for them 
2000 guineas more. The original picture of 'The 
Death of Wolfe ' was purchased by Lord Grosvenor, 
but the King ordered a copy of it. 

Amidst such continued employment and prosperity, 
the honour of succeeding Eeynolds as President of the 



296 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. IX. 

Eoyal Academy fell to West's share in 1792. There 
were none of his contemporaries who had so good a claim 
to, or were so well fitted for, this high position, nor one 
whom the King would so gladly confirm in the appoint- 
ment. He was offered knighthood on the occasion ; but, 
doubting how a Quaker would receive the honour, the King 
sent the Duke of Gloucester to inquire whether it would 
be acceptable to him. It was respectfully declined, as 
West considered that he had attained as much eminence 
as an artist as any which such a title could confer ; and 
he seemed to feel that only a more permanent rank was 
of real value, as the means of preserving in families a 
respect for the principles or the qualities for which it was 
originally bestowed. In the preceding chapter we have 
stated that West continued to paint for the Court, until 
the King could no longer exercise his patronage ; and 
that, although he was naturally envied the privilege thus 
conferred upon him, he did not actually receive more 
than the ordinary income of a good portrait painter in 
these times as the reward for his incessant labour. 

After the peace of Amiens, in 1801, he visited Paris 
to see the collection formed by Bonaparte at the Louvre. 
He was so well received there, that he said, with a little 
pardonable vanity, " Wherever I went men looked at me, 
and ministers and people of influence in the state were 
continually in my company. I was one day at the Louvre ; 
all eyes were upon me ; and I could not help observing to 
Charles Fox, who happened to be walking with me, how 
strong was the love of art, and admiration of its professors, 
in France." It did not, apparently, occur to him that 
possibly the great statesman with whom he was con- 
versing might have been the chief object of interest. 
The dissension in the Academy which led to his tempo- 
rary withdrawal from the office of President, took place 
after his return, in 1805. A year only intervened before 
he resumed his former position, retaining it till his death. 

Finding himself deprived, at the advanced age of sixty- 



CH. IX.] BENJAMIN WEST 297 

four, of the patronage of the Court, consequent on the 
sad iUness of the King, he commenced a series of great 
religious works, the first of which was ' Christ Healing 
the Sick,' purchased by the British Institution for 3000, 
and subsequently presented to the National Gallery. He 
commenced this work in answer to an appeal from a 
society of Quakers in Philadelphia, who solicited his help 
in enlarging a hospital there, and for which he offered to 
paint a picture, as likely to be worth more than any 
money subscription he could give. When he accepted 
the offer to sell it, he stipulated that he might make a 
copy of it for the hospital ; he did so, and a wing for 
thirty additional patients was constructed with the money 
which it realised to the charity.. Several other works 
of large dimensions followed : ' The Crucifixion,' ' The 
Ascension,' ' The Descent of the Holy Ghost on our Lord 
at His Baptism,' 'The Inspiration of St. Peter,' 'The 
Brazen Serpent,' ' St. Paul at Melita,' &c. In 1814 he 
exhibited his picture of ' Christ Eejected,' and, in 1817, 
the celebrated representation of ' Death on the Pale Horse.' 
These, and many other of his works, are well known by 
the prints made from them so admirably by Woollett, 
Hall, and Heath. West painted, or sketched, about four 
hundred pictures in ah 1 , most of them subjects requiring 
all the skill and energy of the artist. Besides the works 
we have mentioned, he painted ' Penn's Treaty with the 
Indians ; ' ' Stephen carried to his Burial,' the altar-piece of 
St. Stephen's, Walbrook ; St. Michael the Archangel,' for 
Trinity College Chapel, Cambridge ; ' The First Installation 
of the Knights of the Garter,' for the audience chamber 
at Windsor Castle ; and a variety of others, both classic 
and sacred. Two of his earlier works ' Cleombrotus 
ordered into Banishment,' and 'Pylades and Orestes' 
' The Healing of the Sick,' above referred to, and ' The 
Last Supper,' painted for George HE., and presented by 
George IV., are now in the National Gallery. His out- 
line was often too meagre for the lofty subjects he fre- 



298 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. IX. 

quently chose ; but he drew well, and pencilled rapidly 
and admirably. In composition and effect he showed 
great skill, but in colouring he was not so successful, his 
pictures being often of a reddish-brown tint, and in ex- 
pression he wanted more variety and character. In 
invention he has frequently shown great power ; some 
of his single figures are admirable, and there is a natural 
grace in most of his delineations of women. Much of the 
calm, passionless spirit he possessed, pervades his pictures; 
but they are, at the same time, the reflex of those pure 
and solemn thoughts and conceptions with which his 
mind was filled. His religious subjects were so selected 
and depicted that, while they were readily understood by 
all, they awakened the sympathies especially of persons 
of religious feeling ; nor were his historical and classic 
subjects wanting in that chief attraction to the multitude 
- that of being brought within their comprehension. 
The fine whole-length portrait of him by Lawrence, in 
the National Gallery, gives a highly characteristic repre- 
sentation of this excellent man, portraying not only his 
dignified and venerable appearance, but his amiable and 
tranquil disposition. In the early part of his career in 
London, he lived in Castle Street, Leicester Square. 
From 1777 till his death he resided at No. 14 Newman 
Street, Oxford Street, where he built a painting-room 
and gallery for pictures. After his death (which took 
place on a sofa in his drawing-room in Newman Street, 
on llth March, 1820) several of his pictures remained 
in possession of his family. A sale of a portion of them 
took place at Eobins's in May 1829, when 181 pictures, 
&c., were disposed of for 19,137, much less than could 
have been obtained for them in his lifetime. Among 
them were, ' Death on the Pale Horse,' which sold for 
2000; ' Christ Eejected,' which realized 3000 (West 
having been offered 8000 for it years before); the 
' Death of Nelson,' and ' The Waters subsiding after the 
Deluge,' which only produced together 1300. 



CH. IX.] ROBERT SMIRKE 299 

Proceeding first to notice the Painters elected during 
the period of West's presidentship, in the order in which 
they were appointed, we have first to speak of EGBERT 
SMIRKE, E.A., who was born at Wigton, near Carlisle, 
in 1752. He became a student of the Eoyal Academy 
in 1772, and for several years followed herald-painting 
as his profession. In 1786, he exhibited his first pictures 
at the Academy 'Narcissus,' and the ' Lady and Sabrina,' 
from " Comus." These, and ' The Widow,' exhibited in 
1791, at once displayed his powers as a painter of 
humorous and sentimental subjects, second only to 
Hogarth, and not since excelled until the time of Wilkie. 
He was elected an Associate in 1791, and in 1793 he 
became a Eoyal Academician. On this occasion, he 
gave as his "Diploma" work, a picture of 'Don Quixote 
and Sancho.' In 1792 he contributed two pictures from 
Thomson's " Seasons " to the exhibition ' The Lover's 
Dream,' and 'Musidora;' and, in 1793, 'Lavinia,' from 
the same poem. All his pictures are of an imagina- 
tive character, and the subjects generally selected from 
the Scriptures, Shakspeare, Cervantes, " The Arabian 
Nights," &c. They were generally of smaU dimensions, 
and are chiefly known to the present generation by 
the engravings made from them for book illustration. 
On such productions he seldom used much variety 
of colour, but seemed chiefly anxious to preserve the 
chiaro-scuro. His larger compositions appear weak 
from this defect in colour ; but the manner in which he 
arranged his subjects, and the rich humour of his cha- 
racters, without any intermingling of low caricature, 
commend his works to the attention of all, making the 
observer think and smile, if not to laugh outright. 
Several of the contributions to the Boydell Gallery were 
from his pencil, and the truth of his conceptions of 
Shakspearian scenes, render these among his best works. 
The subjects were, 'Katherine and Petruchio,' 'Juliet 
and the Nurse,' ' Prince Henry and Falstaff,' ' The Seven 



300 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. IX. 

Ages,' and others. 'Don Quixote' was his favourite 
subject, and the story was largely illustrated by his 
pencil. All his designs are full of quiet and well- 
sustained humour, evince a fine perception of character, 
and possess considerable delicacy and finish. In 1813 he 
painted a picture of ' Infancy,' which was his last con- 
tribution to the exhibition. 

In 1804 he was elected by the Academicians to suc- 
ceed Wilton as keeper, but when the appointment was 
submitted for the King's approval, he refused to con- 
firm it, having been apprised of Smirke's revolutionary 
principles, and of the free expression he had given of his 
satisfaction at the events which had been enacted in 
France a few years before ; and his Majesty no doubt 
considered that one holding such opinions might injuri- 
ously affect the young students in art proposed to be 
placed under his charge. A few years afterwards, Smirke 
indulged his satirical vein at the expense of the titled 
noblemen and gentlemen who founded the British Insti- 
tution, in his publication of a " Catalogue Eaisonne " 
of the first exhibitions of pictures held there. 

Throughout his life he formed a very modest estimate 
of his own works, and was very unwilling to show them. 
Nearly to the end of his long career, however, he con- 
tinued to practise his art, and his last labours were the 
designs he made for the bas-reliefs for the Junior United 
Service Club, and the Oxford and Cambridge Club, of 
which his sons Eobert and Sydney were the architects. 
He died at the advanced age of ninety-three, at his house 
in Osnaburgh Street, Eegent's Park, on the 5th of January, 
1845, having been a full member of the Eoyal Academy 
for fifty-three years. 

Sir FKANCIS BOURGEOIS, E.A., was descended from a 
Swiss family, the members of which are said to have held 
several high offices of state in Berne, and to have subse- 
quently removed to England, when reverse of fortune had 



CH. IX.] SIR F. BOURGEOIS 801 

befallen them. He was born in 1756, in St. Martin's 
Lane, London, where his father was at that time carrying 
on the trade of a watchmaker. When he was about 
eight years old, the celebrated picture dealer, Noel 
Desenfans, came to lodge in his father's house, and this 
gentleman, both as a teacher of languages and a man of 
great natural ability, acquired a large connection among 
the nobility and patrons of art, by whom he was employed 
in the formation of their galleries. The unfortunate 
King Stanislaus of Poland remitted to him a considerable 
sum of money for the purchase of paintings for the Eoyal 
Gallery at Warsaw : but after the pictures had been 
bought, the subsequent misfortunes of that monarch pre- 
vented the accomplishment of his design, and they remained 
in the possession of Desenfans. In all probability it is to 
the innuence which this gentleman exercised over the 
mind of Bourgeois, that we must ascribe his choice of the 
profession of the arts. His early destination was the army, 
in which he had been promised a commission by Lord 
Heathfield, and he attended military evolutions and re- 
views, but not it would seem to acquire a knowledge of 
tactics so much as to represent the manoeuvres he wit- 
nessed with his pencil, having previously received some 
instruction in drawing from an animal painter. Some of 
these juvenile productions were shown to Sir Joshua 
Reynolds and Gainsborough, who spoke so favourably of 
them, that he was subsequently placed as a pupil with 
De Loutherbourg, under whom he quickly acquired a 
knowledge of the elementary principles of art, and became 
so attached to the study, that he gave up all idea of a 
military life, and soon obtained considerable reputation by 
his landscapes, battle scenes, and sea pieces. In 1776 he 
travelled through France, Italy, and Holland, and pro- 
ceeded to Poland, where, with letters from his friend 
Desenfans, he was favourably received by the King, who 
conferred on him the knighthood of the order of merit. 
This honour was confirmed to him on his return to 



302 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. IX. 

England by George' HE. , who subsequently in 1794 
appointed him his landscape-painter. 

He continued the practice of his profession with great 
perseverance, and in 1791 was appointed painter to the 
King of Poland, whose brother, the Prince Primate, had 
been much pleased with his performances during his re- 
sidence in this country. In 1787 he was elected an Asso- 
ciate of the Koyal Academy, and attained the higher rank 
of E.A. in 1793. Soon afterwards he retired from the 
more active pursuit of art. In 1804 his friend Desenfans 
died, leaving to him the best of the pictures he had col- 
lected, and to his possession of which we have already 
referred. Sir Francis Bourgeois was in the habit of 
visiting the master and fellows of the college founded by 
Alleyn the actor at Dulwich, and on one of these occasions 
it was suggested to him by John P. Kemble that his collec- 
tion would be an appropriate gift to that body, as they 
already had a gallery where they might be placed without 
fear of injury to the pictures, and where visitors could 
easily obtain access to them. On his death (which was 
occasioned by a fall from his horse) on January 8th, 1811, 
it was found that he had not forgotten the hint thus given, 
for he left the collection to the widow of his friend, with 
the greater part of his property, for her life ; and be- 
queathed with the reversion of the pictures, 2000 
to provide for the care of them, and 10,000 for erecting 
and keeping in repair a gallery for their reception at 
Dulwich. The present gallery attached to the coUege 
was built in 1812 from the designs of Sir John Soane. 
Bourgeois was buried in the chapel of the college, 
according to his own wish, by the side of Desenfans, 
whose remains were removed thence from the chapel 
attached to Bourgeois' house, in which they were origin- 
ally deposited. 

As a painter Sir Francis Bourgeois is not now held in 
high estimation, although his works were much esteemed 
at the time when they were painted. They manifest a 



OH. EL] BOURGEOIS STOTHAED 303 

strong feeling for art, and evident labour in the process of 
execution ; but besides being crude and sketchy, they are 
monotonous and heavy in colour a mannered imitation 
of De Loutherbourg, but without his genius. In grouping 
his figures, and in choosing his subjects, he showed good 
taste, however, and evident appreciation of the beautiful 
in nature. In private life Sir F. Bourgeois was universally 
esteemed, and he has considerable claims to grateful 
remembrance as the donor to the nation of the coUection 
of valuable pictures at Dulwich by Cuyp, Eembrandt, 
Poussin, Murillo, and other masters chiefly of the Dutch, 
Flemish, and Italian schools. Several of the works of the 
donor have been placed in the collection by his legatees, 
as also the portrait of him by Sir William Beechey, which 
was painted only a few days before his death. 

THOMAS STOTHAKD, E. A. who was called " the Giotto of 
England " by Turner, was born in London, at the sign of 
the " Black Horse " (kept by his father) in Long Acre, on 
August 17th, 1755. Being a sickly child, he was sent at 
five years old to some relatives at Acomb, a small village 
near York, to be nursed. While there he began to copy 
some of Houbraken's heads, and other engravings which 
he met with in his new home. At eight he was placed at 
school at Stretton, near Tadcaster, the birthplace of his 
father ; and at thirteen was removed to a boarding-school 
at Uford, in Essex. On his father's death shortly after- 
wards, he was bound apprentice to a pattern-drawer for 
brocaded silks in Spitalfields. The trade declining, and 
his master dying a year before the expiration of his term, 
he was early left to his own resources. He had, however, 
minutely studied nature in the drawing of flowers and 
other ornaments, and had availed himself of every oppor- 
tunity of improving his knowledge, so that he was now 
prepared to attempt a higher branch of art than that of 
ornamental design, and began to draw illustrations for the 
" Town and Countiy Magazine," published by Harrison. 



304 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. IX. 

These were greatly admired, and he quickly found 
constant employment of the same kind upon other works, 
particularly the " Novelist's Magazine " and Bell's edition 
of the "British Poets." He commenced a course of 
study at the Eoyal Academy in 1777, and exhibited his 
first picture, ' Ajax defending the dead body of Patroclus,' 
the following year. Among his early works were 'A Holy 
Family,' ' Banditti,' The Death of Sir Philip Sidney,' 
'King Kichard's Eeturn from Palestine,' and his 'Treatment 
of Isaac, King of Cyprus,' and ' Britomart,' from Spenser. 
In 1791 he was elected an Associate, and in 1794 a Eoyal 
Academician. In 1810 he began to act as deputy librarian 
for Mr. Burch, and succeeded to the office in 1812, retain- 
ing it till his death in 1834. 

Stothard's never-failing fancy supplied upwards of five 
thousand designs to illustrate the works of Milton, 
Shakspeare, Spenser, " Don Quixote," " The Pilgrim's 
Progress," Bell's " British Poets," " Eobinson Crusoe," &c., 
in which humour, pathos, beauty, innocence, modesty, 
and loveliness of form are combined. Of these three 
thousand were engraved, and as they illustrated the popular 
literature of the age, his reputation was widely diffused 
both in this country and on the Continent. Among his 
most important works were ' The Pilgrimage to Canter- 
bury,' 'The Flitch of Bacon,' and the * Wellington 
Shield,' which he also etched himself. His largest per- 
formance is the fresco painting of the staircase at Burleigh 
House, the seat of the Marquis of Exeter. This work, in 
which the figures are seven feet high, was commenced in 
1798, and completed during four successive summers. 
The subject is ' Intemperance,' the chief figures being 
Marc Antony and Cleopatra, surrounded by bacchanals, 
&c. He also designed the ceiling of the Advocates' 
Library at Edinburgh. His ordinary pictures were of 
easel size, with small figures introduced in them. At the 
beginning of his career he followed the style of Mortimer, 
but as he advanced formed one peculiarly his own. His 



Cn. IX.] THOMAS STOTHARD 305 

oil-paintings are deficient in colour and are wanting in 
force, having too much the appearance of water-colour 
drawings. His facility of composition was great, but 
necessarily led to mannerism when so profusely employed ; 
the sameness in his style is, however, always accompanied 
by so much purity of design, truthfulness, simplicity, and 
grace, that we never weary while looking at his works. 
His chief exceUence consisted in his impersonations of 
virgin innocence and womanly grace, rendered in an easy, 
unaffected manner, which is very charming. In comic 
subjects he was very happy, without descending even to 
an approach to vulgarity. Some of his latest productions, 
commenced in 1829, were for the embellishment of the 
poems of his friend and patron, Samuel Eogers, all of 
which are exquisitely beautiful. He occasionally made 
designs for metal chasers, especially for EundeU and 
Bridge, the goldsmiths, and also aided our sculptors in 
the same way. Chantrey's celebrated monument of the 
' Sleeping Children,' in Lichfield Cathedral, was made from 
his design. He was commissioned to design the reverse 
to the gold medal awarded by the Eoyal Academy, and 
received 20 for the drawing he made for it. 

For several months before his death, he was compelled 
by bodily infirmity to relinquish his profession, but still 
attended the meetings and lectures at the Eoyal Academy, 
and performed his duties as their librarian. His deafness 
had for years hindered him from taking part in the dis- 
cussions, but he never missed attending the meetings, the 
proceedings at which were explained to him in writing by 
those around him. He had a numerous family, and one 
of his sons, Charles Alfred Stothard, was the author of 
an antiquarian work of great value, " The Monumental 
Effigies of Great Britain." A very interesting life of the 
artist was published by this gentleman's widow, afterwards 
Mrs. Bray, in 1851. Thomas Stothard lived to a venerable 
age, retaining to the last the gentleness and benevolence 

VOL. i. x 



306 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [Cn. IX. 

of disposition by which his long life was characterised, 
and died at his house, No. 28 Newman Street, Oxford 
Street, where he had resided more than forty years, on 
the 27th of April, 1834. He was buried in Bunhill 
Fields burial-ground, and was followed to the grave by the 
President and Council of the Eoyal Academy. There are 
portraits of him by Harlowe, Jackson, and Wood, and a 
bust in marble by Baily. Six very pleasing specimens of 
his skill are in the Vernon Gallery, and ten more in the 
Sheepshanks Collection. 

EICHAED WESTALL, E.A., was born at Hertford, in 1765. 
In 1779 he, like Hogarth, was apprenticed to an heraldic 
engraver on silver, named Thompson, in Gutter Lane, 
Cheapside ; but while thus employed, a miniature painter, 
named Alefounder, having observed his abilities for greater 
things, recommended him to adopt painting as his profes- 
sion. Accordingly, after learning at an evening school of 
art, he became a student at the Eoyal Academy in 1785, 
and shortly afterwards he commenced his career as an 
artist by exhibiting a picture from Chaucer's sarcastic 
poem of " January and May." He took a house in Soho 
Square, at the corner of Greek Street, jointly with 
Sir Thomas (then Mr.) Lawrence ; they lived there for 
several years together, and from the congeniality of their 
dispositions and tastes, their acquaintance continued 
through life. Westall was chosen an Associate at the Eoyal 
Academy in 1792, and E.A. in 1794, the same year in 
which Stothard and his friend Lawrence attained the like 
dignity. He first attracted public favour by some highly 
finished historical pictures in water-colours. Among 
those especially admired were l Esau seeking Isaac's 
Blessing,' ' Mary Queen of Scots parting from Andrew 
Melvil on her Way to Execution,' ' Sappho chanting the 
Hymn of Love,' ' Jubal and the Lyre,' ' The Boar that 
killed Adonis brought to Venus,' ' The Storm in Harvest,' 
' Calypso entertaining Telemachus,' and other similar 



CH. IX.] RICHARD WESTALL 307 

subjects. His more enduring reputation rests, however, 
chiefly on the numerous beautiful designs he executed for 
Boydell's Milton and Shakspeare galleries, and the illus- 
trations to other works. Many of his drawings for 
Milton's poems were graceful, and some even approached 
to grandeur. Bowyer's " History of England " furnished 
further subjects for his pencil ; and a series of illustrations 
of the services of the Church of England, are still popular 
by the engravings from them. He attempted to paint 
large historical pictures, but abandoned the idea when he 
found that he could obtain no purchasers for them ; and 
latterly he confined himself to making designs for book- 
illustration, after the example of Stothard. Crabbe's 
" Poems," Moore's " Loves of the Angels," and a volume of 
poems by himself, entitled " A Day in Spring," were among 
the productions embellished by his designs, which from 
their number, and the rapid succession in which they were 
executed, soon displayed a great similarity in their manner 
of treatment. In his latter years he unfortunately became 
greatly embarrassed by some imprudent partnership en- 
gagements and unsuccessful speculations in the works of 
old masters ; and his circumstances in life were seriously 
affected by them. His last professional occupation was 
a very gratifying one, that of giving lessons in draw- 
ing and painting to her Majesty, when Princess Vic- 
toria ; and the beautiful drawings made by our gracious 
Sovereign, and her refined taste in art, evince that 
good use was made of the instruction which Westall 
was able to render to his Royal pupil. He died on the 
4th of December, 1836. 

Of Sir THOMAS LAWRENCE, elected in the same year with 
Eichard Westall, and also of Sir MARTIN ARCHER SHEE, 
elected in 1800, we shall have to speak in subsequent 
chapters, when referring to the Academicians appointed 
during the periods in which they filled the office of 
President ; and therefore only mention them here among 

x 2 



308 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [Cn. IX. 

the painters elected at the period of which we are now 
speaking. 

JOHN HOPPNER, E.A., was the son of one of the German 
attendants in the King's Palace at St. James's, and was 
born in London in 1759. He was educated under the 
directions given by George III., and, when very young, 
was selected to be one of the choristers of the Chapel 
Eoyal. In 1775, when in his sixteenth year, he became 
a student at the Eoyal Academy, and, in 1782, obtained 
the gold medal awarded for historical painting the 
subject being ' A Scene from King Lear.' In the begin- 
ning of his artistic career, he met with especial favour 
from the Prince of Wales, who patronised him at a time 
when Lawrence and Opie were in the ascendant as por- 
trait painters. Mrs. Siddons was one of his first sitters ; 
and four members of the Eoyal Family, and a host of 
noble personages, followed. Mingled with this practice, 
Hoppner attempted ideal subjects, and at this time pro- 
duced ' A Sleeping Venus,' ' Youth and Age,' and ' Belisa- 
rius.' This was ere he had reached the age of thirty. 
Within the next ten years he carried on a professional 
rivalry with Lawrence, who was steadily increasing in 
popularity, and enjoyed the favour of the King and the 
Court, while Hoppner could only designate himself "por- 
trait painter to the Prince of Wales." At this time he 
lived in Charles Street, at the gates of Carlton House, and 
found constant employment, as may be judged from the 
long list of distinguished persons who sat to him for their 
portraits. He painted with ease and rapidity, and seems 
to have formed his style by a careful study of that of Sir 
Joshua Eeynolds, rather than by imitation of it. He had 
also great skill in landscape painting, and the backgrounds 
of his portraits bear testimony to his ability in depicting 
scenery. He avoided in his likenesses all approach to 
coarseness or vulgarity, but he sometimes "improved" 
his subjects till, by refinement, they lost characteristic 



CH. IX.] JOHN HOPPNER 309 

fidelity. In his delineations of elegant women and 
children he was in his true element ; less so, perhaps, in 
his portraits of men, which sometimes lacked dignity and 
individuality. His pictures are effective ; his colouring 
natural, chaste, and powerful ; and his tones, for the most 
part, mellow and deep. In some few instances, how- 
ever, his pictures are gaudy. He was elected an Asso- 
ciate in 1793, and a Eoyal Academician hi 1795, on 
which occasion he presented his own portrait a spirited 
work to the Eoyal Academy. Among the works of 
deceased British artists exhibited at intervals, after his 
death, at the British Institution, those of Hoppner always 
occupied a place, since he was employed to paint the 
portraits of many persons distinguished in the history 
and literature of this country, which will always give to 
his pictures an added value to that which they possess as 
works of art. His portraits of the Et. Hon. W. Pitt, and 
of " Gentleman Smith," the actor, are in the National 
Gallery. 

In early life, he visited frequently the house of Mrs. 
Wright, in Pall Mall, a modeller of portraits in wax, and 
a woman of great taste and talent, whose house became a 
rendezvous for artists and statesmen. He subsequently 
married the daughter of this lady, by whom he had a 
family, one of his sons being for some years the British 
Consul at Venice. In 1809, Hoppner's health visibly 
declined. Lawrence called repeatedly to inquire for him, 
and wrote very feelingly of his grief at "the loss of a 
brother artist, from whose works I have often gained 
instruction, and who has gone by my side in the race 
these eighteen years." He resided for many years at 
No. 18 Charles Street, St. James's, and was highly valued 
for his estimable character in private life. He died of 
dropsy, after long previous suffering with bilious and liver 
complaints, on the 23rd January, 1810 ; and was 
buried in the ground adjoining St. James's Chapel, in the 
Hampstead Eoad. 



310 HISTORY OF TILE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. IX. 

SAWEEY GILPIN, E.A., was born at Carlisle in 1733, and 
was the son of a captain in the army, who early taught him 
the first principles of drawing, and thus implanted in him 
the desire to become a painter. He was also a descend- 
ant of the good and hospitable Bernard Gilpin, whose 
life forms one of the most pleasing pictures of simplicity 
and virtue in connexion with the troublous times of the 
Eeformation in which he lived. A brother of the artist 
was the Eev. W. Gilpin, vicar of Boldre, who wrote the 
life of his ancestor Bernard, and many other works. 
Sawrey Gilpin having determined to become an artist, 
was placed with Scott, the marine painter, to study in 
London, where he exercised his pencil in sketching groups 
of market people, carts and horses, &c., from his window ; 
but his own taste led him especially to paint animals ; and 
the Duke of Cumberland, to whom some of his drawings 
of horses were shown, so much admired them that he 
took Gilpin under his patronage, and gave him a com- 
mission to paint portraits of his favourite racers, and 
other subjects, at Newmarket. Thus his peculiar line in 
art became marked out for him, and he speedily became 
the recognised painter of such subjects, which he executed 
with great truth, being well acquainted with the anatomy 
of animals, and drawing them with spirit and correctness. 
He also painted tigers and wild animals with great 
ability, and sometimes ventured upon historical subjects, 
as in his pictures of ' The Election of Darius,' and ' The 
Triumph of Camillus.' He and Barret, the landscape 
painter, frequently worked together the one producing 
the animals in Barret's landscapes, and the other painting 
the scenery surrounding Gilpin's horses, &c. A set of 
etchings of oxen, a small book of horses, and some heads 
for his brother's book, " The Lives of the Eeformers," were 
published by him. In his especial department he was far 
superior to any of his contemporaries, and has rarely been 
excelled since, although his colouring was somewhat 
defective, and his pictures lacked some other technical 



CH. IX.] GILPIN BEECHEY 311 

qualities. He was elected an Associate in 1795, and a 
E. A. in 1797. He was greatly respected through a long 
life for his extreme simplicity of manner and high moral 
character, and died at Brompton on the 8th March, 1807. 

Sir WILLIAM BEECHEY, E.A., was born at Burford, in 
Oxfordshire, on the 12th December, 1753. He was articled 
to a conveyancer at Stow, in Gloucestershire, but after a 
time he grew restless under the monotony of a provincial 
lawyer's office, and came to London, where he was 
articled to Mr. Owen of Tooke's Court. Accidentally, he 
became acquainted with some students at the Eoyal 
Academy, and the pursuits in which they were engaged 
so greatly delighted him that he procured a substitute to 
serve the remainder of his articles to Mr. Owen, and, in 
1772, became a student at the Academy. He carefully 
studied the works of Eeynolds ; but, acting upon the 
suggestion and example of his friend Paul Sandby, he 
made nature his model, and so endeavoured to qualify 
himself for competition with great artists, rather than to 
try to imitate their style. Among his earliest works were 
portraits of Dr. Strachey, Archdeacon of Norwich, and 
his family, and the Duke and Duchess of Cumberland. 
In 1781 he went to Norwich, and remained there four 
or five years, painting small conversation pieces, in the 
manner of Hogarth and Zoffany. He sent two large 
frames of these, containing twelve or thirteen portraits in 
each, to the Eoyal Academy Exhibition ; but they were 
refused on account of occupying too much space, and 
were transferred to Vandergucht's rooms, at the Lyceum, 
where they attracted much attention. At Norwich he 
first began to paint life-size portraits, and also some fancy 
pieces ' Lavinia,' from Thomson's " Seasons ; " ' A Lady 
Playing on a Harp,' and ' The Witch of Endor.' On his 
return to London, he took Vandergucht's house, 20 
Lower Brook Street, and there was gratified by obtaining 
much patronage, and increasing celebrity. Thence he 



312 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. IX. 

removed to Hill Street, and subsequently to George 
Street, Hanover Square. A large number of commissions 
for portraits of the nobility led the way to Koyal patron- 
age, and this at a time when he had many eminent rivals 
in the same branch of art. In 1793 he was elected an 
Associate of the Eoyal Academy, and in the same year 
he was appointed portrait painter to Queen Charlotte, 
of whom he shortly afterwards painted a whole-length 
portrait, and all the Princesses sat to him. In 1798 he 
was commanded to paint a picture of the King at a 
Eeview of the 3rd and 10th Dragoons, attended by the 
Prince of Wales, the Duke of York, Generals Dundas, 
Fawcett, and Goldsworthy, &c. This work (now at 
Hampton Court) was universally admired, as combining 
with the fidelity of portraiture the interest and expres- 
sion of a historical picture. As a mark of the Eoyal 
favour, he was knighted on 9th of May, 1798, and in the 
same year was chosen to fill the vacancy among the 
Eoyal Academicians caused by the death of William 
Hodges. 

From this time he painted the majority of ah 1 the 
persons of distinction, and the rank and fashion of his 
time. Lord Nelson, Earl St. Vincent, Marquis Cornwallis, 
Lord Sidmouth, Sir W. Hamilton, Kemble, Mrs. Siddons, 
Alderman Boydell, Wilkie, Nollekens (now in the National 
Gallery), and Paul Sandby, were among the number. 
One of his best works was a picture of his second wife 
with the youngest of his eight children in her arms. This 
lady was also an artist in miniature, and copied in that 
manner many of her husband's works. One of his sons 
is now Captain Beechey, E.N., distinguished as an arctic 
traveller, whose knowledge of art greatly aided in pre- 
serving memorials of what he saw in those unexplored 
regions. Another son, H. W. Beechey, has written a 
life of Sir J. Eeynolds, prefixed to his writings, and other 
works. 

Sir William Beechey died at Hampstead, on the 28th 



CH. IX.] BEECHEY TEESHAM 313 

of January, 1839, at the advanced age of eighty-six, much 
regretted by numerous attached friends, who admired his 
honest and open conduct throughout a long and honour- 
able career. His works (most of which have been en- 
graved) are remarkable for truth of resemblance, purity 
of colour, and simplicity of treatment. Although he is 
chiefly known as a portrait painter, Beechey also painted 
some historical compositions of more than common merit, 
and at one time designed some fanciful subjects. Eor a 
long period he held a prominent position as a portrait 
painter, notwithstanding the many able competitors around 
him, and during the reign of George III. he was the 
principal Court painter; but the illness of the King 
weakened his interest, and the fascination of Sir Thomas 
Lawrence's pencil -diverted patronage to that formidable 
rival, especially as Beechey's later works were not so 
carefully executed as those by which he had won his 
way to fame. 

HENRY TRESHAM, E.A., was born in Ireland, and received 
his first instruction in art at West's Academy, in Dublin, 
under Mr. Ennis. He exhibited some chalk drawings 
there in 1770; the next year, three allegorical pictures, 
for compartments of a ceiling, viz. the 'Polite Arts,' 
'Apollo,' and 'Mercury.' 'Andromache mourning over 
Hector's Body' followed in 1772. He came to England 
in 1775, and was for some time occupied in drawing 
small portraits, until, obtaining the patronage of Lord 
Cawdor, he was invited to accompany him in his 
travels through Italy. Tresham remained on the Con- 
tinent fourteen years, staying chiefly at Borne, and pro- 
secuted his studies of the antique and the works of 
the great masters so zealously and successfully that he 
became one of the most correct and elegant designers of 
his day. His drawings in pen and ink, and in black 
chalk, especially display his ability in their spirited and 
bold execution. Several publications were illustrated by 



814 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [Cn. IX. 

him prior to the Boydell " Shakspeare," on which he was 
employed to contribute three scenes from the play of 
"Antony and Cleopatra." These and all his designs 
were well composed, but his colouring was somewhat 
tame. In addition to his artistic pursuits, he occasionally 
wrote poetry. He published " Eome at the close of the 
Eighteenth Century," "Britannicus to Bonaparte," and 
the " Sea-side Minstrel." On his return from Eome he, 
with some gentlemen picture-dealers, formed a gallery of 
old masters, in which a number of works were exhibited 
attributed (but not always correctly) to Correggio, Raphael, 
Carracci, &c. Subsequently he superintended a work 
projected by Messrs. Longman and Co., entitled " The 
British Gallery," consisting of engravings from the old 
masters, for which he wrote the descriptions. The 
coloured copies of these prints were greatly admired. 
They were published singly at six guineas the plate, and 
the whole number, 25, cost 150 guineas. He became an 
Associate in 1791, and a Eoyal Academician in 1799; and 
was appointed Professor of Painting in 1807, in succession 
to Opie, but resigned in 1809, as he found his health so 
much impaired since his return from Italy as to render 
him unfit for the duties of the office. Indeed, for several 
years before his death he was reduced to a state of feeble- 
ness and infirmity, which prevented any arduous labour. 
Happily, he was not dependent on his exertions, for the 
Earl of Carlisle liberally assigned to him an annuity of 
300, in return for a collection of Etruscan vases he had 
formed while abroad. He died on the 17th of June, 1814, 
lamented by a large circle of friends, who loved him for 
his amiable qualities of heart, and respected by his brother 
academicians as one who had an elegant taste for, and was 
always alive to the interests of art, even when no longer 
able, from bodily suffering, to follow it as a profession. 

THOMAS DANIELL, E.A., was born in 1749, at Kingston- 
on-Thames. He was originally a painter of heraldry, and 



CH. IX.] THOMAS DANIELL 315 

subsequently of English landscape scenery; he also 
practised engraving, and added to these efforts some 
attempts at poetical composition. In 1773 he became a 
student at the Eoyal Academy. Among his early works 
were a view of the house of the poet Cowley at Chertsey, 
'Una and the Eed Cross Knight' (from the "Fairy Queen"), 
and some scenes in Yorkshire, &c. In 1784, at the age 
of thirty-five, he went to India, with his nephew, William 
Daniell, with the intention of making sketches of that 
then comparatively unknown land. They commenced 
their task at Cape Comorin, and explored and sketched 
almost everything that was beautiful or interesting in the 
country between that point and Serinagur, in the Hima- 
laya Mountains. They were thus occupied ten years. In 
1796 Thomas Daniell was elected an Associate, and in 
1799 a Eoyal Academician. After their return from 
India the uncle and nephew commenced the publication 
of a series of fine aquatinta engravings from their 
drawings, in their great work entitled " Oriental Scenery," 
which was completed in 1808, in six volumes, the en- 
gravings in five of which were executed by William 
Daniell. From this period he rarely painted any but 
Indian subjects, and he also published some works 
relating to that country. He was a Fellow of the Eoyal, 
Asiatic, and Antiquarian Societies. He survived to a 
great age, his death having taken place on the 19th of 
March, 1840, when he was in his 91st year. He was 
buried in Kensal Green Cemetery, where there is an 
altar-tomb over his grave, with an inscription, written, at 
the request of Sir David Wilkie, by Allan Cunningham. 

Sir MARTIN ARCHES SIIEE was the next artist elected 
as a Eoyal Academician ; but as he will form the centre 
of a circle, as a subsequent President of the Academy, 
we defer giving an outline of his life till a future chapter. 

It seems even to be too early in this history to write a 



816 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. IX. 

notice of JOSEPH HALLOED WILLIAM TUENEE, E.A., who 
has so recently passed away from us, arid regarding whose 
style and works there is still so much animated discussion. 
Yet he was a student of the Eoyal Academy so long ago 
as 1789, was elected an Associate in 1799, and became a 
Eoyal Academician in 1802. He was born on the 23rd 
of April, 1775, at No. 26, Maiden Lane, Covent Garden, 
at the corner of Hand Court (the house has lately been 
taken down), where his father, William Turner, was a 
hairdresser. An entry of his baptism, on the 14th of 
May in that year, is preserved in the register of St. Paul's, 
Covent Garden. From his father's humble position in 
life, nothing beyond the rudiments of an ordinary English 
education fell to his share. In his tenth year he went to 
reside with an aunt at Brentford, who sent him to school 
at a Mr. White's there ; afterwards he was at school at 
Margate, and in Soho. His taste for art was early 
manifested; and the first way in which he acquired a 
knowledge of it was by borrowing a drawing or picture 
to copy, or by making a sketch of one in the exhibition 
early in the morning, and finishing it at home. One of 
his earliest drawings now preserved is a copy of one by 
Paul Sandby, in water-colours. He learned perspective 
from Thomas Malton, and was afterwards, for some 
months, in the office of Mr. Hardwick, the architect of St. 
Katherine's Docks. He was admitted as a student at the 
Eoyal Academy in 1789, and gained there a good deal of 
technical instruction in art, if he did not follow out the 
prescribed course of teaching in the life and antique 
schools. 

Another means of sen-improvement was afforded to 

0/ f him by Dr. Mjinro, who possessed in his house in the 

/ Adelphi a large collection of water-colour drawings and 

engravings by Paul Sandby, Gainsborough, Eooker, 

Wilson, Hearne, Cozens, and other artists of the time, 

which he placed at the disposal of young students who 

might wish to copy them, and gave them further en- 



CH. IX.] J. M. W. TURNER 317 

couragement by purchasing at small prices the sketches 
they made of the scenery around London. Turner there 
met Girtin, and the two students worked together. Girtin 
had been well instructed as an artist, and was Turner's 
senior, and he doubtless gained much from his suggestions. 
Their xtrawings were very similar at this period, except that 
Girtin's colouring was warmer, and Turner's details were 
more delicately traced ; the drawings he then made, how- 
ever, would bear no comparison with those of modern 
artists, or even with his own at a later period. In Dr. 
Mytnro's school Varley, Edridge, and others studied ; and 
from the elaborate and tasteful delineations of the artists 
whose works they copied, they acquired the rudiments of 
a just and accurate insight into the properties of topogra- 
phical design, and from some of them a practical know- 
ledge of breadth and simplicity, united with the charm of 
aerial perspective. Unfortunately, the talented Girtin was 
early lost to art, as he died, in his 27th year, in 1802, 
from which time Turner was left to pursue his course 
without a friendly competitor. 

In 1787, when he was only twelve years old, he ex- 
hibited two drawings at the Eoyal Academy, of ' Dover 
Castle ' and ' Wanstead House.' In 1789 he was painting, 
with Girtin, on the Thames. Subsequently he taught 
drawing, at first for 5s., and afterwards for 2 Is. a lesson, 
and at intervals, in succeeding years, made excursions 
to Wales, Yorkshire, the Lakes, and the coast. In 1790 
he sent a view of Lambeth Palace to the exhibition, and 
continued for sixty years uninterruptedly, from that 
period, to contribute his works to the exhibitions. 

His early practice was principally in water-colours. 
During the first ten or twelve years of his artistic career 
he confined his efforts to views of English and Welsh 
scenery in this style, in which his brilliancy of execution 
and truthfulness of representation won great admiration. 
The exceptions to this class of subjects were the ' Battle 
of the Nile/ painted in 1799, and the 'Fifth Plague of 



318 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. IX. 

Egypt,' in 1800. His merits were acknowledged by his 
election as an Associate in 1799, and in 1802 as a Eoyal 
Academician. Still desiring to attain to higher power, 
and to venture upon new fields, he now visited Scotland, 
France, Switzerland, Italy and the Ehine, and commenced 
painting in oil on larger canvases, and chose classic 
subjects for some of his works. Four of his pictures 
exhibited in 1802 were views in Scotland, two marine 
subjects, and two others were 'Jason' and the 'Tenth 
Plague of Egypt.' Continuing to try what he could do, 
the next year he produced ' A Holy Family ; ' afterwards 
he took to humorous subjects, such as 'A Country 
Blacksmith disputing the Charge for shoeing a Pony' 
(1807), the 'Unpaid Bill' (1808), and the ' Ga/etteer's^y! 
Petition' (1809). It is to this period that we owe 
Turner's noble pictures representing the fury of the ocean 
with such fearful truthfulness, as in the ' Wreck of the 
Minotaur,' the ' Shipwreck,' the ' Gale,' and others well 
known by the engravings from them. Meanwhile he also 
continued to paint landscapes with great poetic taste, and 
to indulge in imaginative productions, such as 'Apollo 
and Python' (1811), 'Narcissus and Echo' (1814), 'Dido 
and -ZEneas,' ' Apuleia,' &c. 

Prior to this period (viz. in 1807) he had been elected 
Professor of Perspective at the Eoyal Academy. For 
several years he delivered lectures to the students on the 
systems of pictorial composition adopted by the great 
landscape painters of earlier times, and on their principles 
of effect and colour, as compared with the teaching of 
nature. He took great pains with the diagrams he pre- 
pared to illustrate his lectures ; but though a great artist, 
Turner had not enjoyed the advantage of sufficient 
mental training to enable him to arrange his thoughts, or 
to express them without confusion and obscurity. Hence 
he failed to secure the attention of the students at his 
ill-composed and ill-delivered lectures, which he discon- 
tinued for many years before he resigned the professorship. 



Cn. IX.] J. M. W. TURNER 319 

He was, however, an active and devoted member of the 
Academy, exemplary in fulfilling his duties in the Council, 
and as visitor and auditor feeling for the institution an 
affection, as he said, like that of a child for its mother. 

A work by which Turner's fame has been widely 
extended was commenced in 1808. This was the " Liber 
Studiorum," undertaken in rivalry to the book of sketches 
by Claude, published in aquatinta by Earlom, as the" Liber 
Veritatis." Turner's sketches were similarly engraved 
(the early ones by Charles Turner, to whom he paid eight 
guineas for each plate), and embraced every variety of 
landscape composition, displaying a close observance of 
nature, and a variety of application which no landscape 
painter has excelled. This work, since very rare and 
scarce, but recently republished, led to his employment 
by engravers and publishers to draw book-illustrations ; 
and thus commenced that series of designs which have 
been the wonder and admiration of the present genera- 
tion. His peculiar colouring leads many to withhold 
admiration from his paintings ; but all admit that his 
designs, when engraved, have a magical effect of fascina- 
tion upon the eye. His illustrations of the 'Southern 
Coast Scenery,' 'England and Wales,' the 'Eivers of 
England and France,' and for Eogers's "Italy" and 
"Poems," are among the many hundreds of drawings which 
he thus made, and by which he acquired his fortune. 

The various changes in his style of painting can be 
traced in the noble collection of his works which now 
form the " Turner " Gallery, bequeathed by him to the 
nation. The usual division of his artistic career is into 
three periods, the first reaching to about his twenty- 
seventh year, when he became a Eoyal Academician, and 
during which time he was chiefly occupied with water- 
colour painting, drawing from nature, and studying the 
methods of his English predecessors, the second ex- 
tending from 1802 to 1830, in which he is found at first 
to have followed and imitated Wilson, Claude, Gaspar 



320 HISTORY OF TIIE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. IX. 

Poussin, and Salvator Eosa, the third dating from his 
second visit to Italy, in 1829, when he determined to strike 
out a style entirely original, and in which he seemed to 
have resolved to sacrifice everything to the effort to attain 
unrivalled brilliancy of colour, and the utmost splendour 
of light and effect. 

It is interesting to study his works chronologically, and 
to mark how, from time to time, he made new efforts at 
further progress, absorbing his past attainments in some 
fresh attempt to reach higher ground, and how r eagerly he 
strove to realise a conception which his hand, at the time, 
could not portray. Dr. Waagen has given a careful and 
accurate opinion of his powers when he says " that no 
landscape painter has yet appeared with such versatility 
of talent. His historical landscapes exhibit the most 
exquisite feeling for beauty of hues and effect of lighting ; 
at the same time he has the power of making them 
express the most varied moods of nature, a lofty gran- 
deur, a deep and moody melancholy, a sunny cheerfulness 
and peace, or an uproar of all the elements. Buildings 
he also treats with peculiar felicity, while the sea, in its 
most varied aspects, is equally subservient to his magic 
brush. His views of certain cities and localities inspire 
the spectator with poetic feelings such as no other painter 
ever excited in the same degree, and which is principally 
attributable to the exceeding picturesqueness of the point 
of view chosen, and to the beauty of the lighting. 
Finally, he treats the most common little subjects, such as 
groups of trees, a meadow, a shaded stream, with such 
art as to impart to them the most picturesque charms. I 
should therefore not hesitate to recognise Turner as the 
greatest landscape painter of all times, but for his de- 
ficiency in one indispensable element in every work of 
art, viz. a sound technical basis," and, unfortunately, 
this is a serious want, for many of his works, both in oil 
and water-colours, are already marred, and must soon 
perish, from the improper and inadequate materials he 



CH. IX.] J. M. W. TURNER 321 

used, and his want of care in the preparation of the 
colours with which he worked. Engraving will transmit 
to posterity some of his greatness ; but while by this 
means his compositions will be preserved, his magic 
colouring will be lost. 

During his latter days his colouring became so eccentric 
and extravagant, and the objects he drew so indistinct and 
void of form, that his works were severely censured ; but 
this fault, always to a certain degree existing, was only 
excessive during the last ten or twelve years of his life 
(although his drawing of figures was always defective), 
when his sight was perhaps failing, and his mind only 
bent upon illustrating his idea of brilliant effects of 
colour. Most of his later works were in illustration of a 
manuscript poem he wrote, but never published (except 
in fragments in the Academy catalogues), entitled " The 
Fallacies of Hope." He disdained to follow any track 
marked out by others ; hence he neglected the dogmas of 
the schools, and became an unrestrained experimentalist, 
observing tints and forms in the passing clouds, combining 
colours, if not into natural forms, yet into images of 
gorgeous beauty and thus creating types of realities 
rather than pictures of the truth. But even at the period 
when he began to indulge in the wildest of his artistic 
fancies, he painted that charming picture ' Italy ' (1832), 
and ' The Old Temeraire ' (1839), which are included in 
his gift to his countrymen. 

The chief collections of his pictures, exclusive of those 
which are now public property, are those of F. H. Fawkes, 
Esq., of Farnley Hall, near Leeds ; H. A. Munro, Esq., 
Hamilton Place, Piccadilly; the late E.Bicknell,Esq., Herne 
Hill, Camberwell ; Lord Egremont, Petworth (oil paint- 
ings) ; and John Heugh, Esq., Manchester (water-colour 
drawings). Some of these patrons he was in the habit of 
visiting from time to time as friends. At Lord Egrernont's, 
at Petworth, he was fond of fishing with his friends Sir 
F. Chantrey, E.A. and George Jones, E. A., whom he used 

VOL. I. Y 



322 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. IX. 

to meet there : he visited Mr. Fawkes at Farnley Hall, 
and was a frequent guest at the Rev. Mr. Trimmer's at 
Heston Eectory, and with Mr. Wells the artist and 
many others, besides being an especial friend of the 
daughter of Gainsborough, the mother of Mr. Lane, the 
engraver ; so that he was not so unsociable, or so utterly 
a recluse, until a few years before his death, as he is gene- 
rally supposed to have been. On the contrary, when he 
did go into society, he thoroughly enjoyed it and entered 
fully into its spirit ; and used to delight in the varnishing 
days at the Academy, because they gave all the members 
the opportunity of meeting together in friendly inter- 
course. 

Turner's peculiarities of temperament, his unsocial 
tastes, his love of retirement, his simple and even niggard 
life of seclusion under the assumed name of Brooks, have 
all been told and multiplied ; but if parsimonious in life, 
he was noble-hearted in the purpose for which he saved 
his money, and for which he bestowed the labour of his 
life. For when he died it was found that he had 
bequeathed nearly the whole of his property (the fruits of 
a long life of industry) to the double purpose of enlarging 
the national collection of pictures by English artists, and 
of befriending the members of his own profession who 
might fall into adversity. 

The will, dated 10th of June, 1831, after naming 
bequests to his uncles and nephews of small sums, annui- 
ties to his housekeeper, Mrs. Danby, and members of her 
family, bequeathed the rest of his property to found " a 
charitable institution for the maintenance and support of 
poor and decayed male artists, born in England and of 
English parents only," a suitable building to be provided 
in an eligible place, the whole to be under the control of 
four trustees, two members of the Eoyal Academy and 
two non-members, after those specially named in the 
will the institution to be called "Turner's Gift." A 
codicil (20th of August, 1832) determined that if the 



CH. IX.] J. M. W. TURNER 323 

amount of his property were not sufficient for this pur- 
pose, his pictures should be kept as a " Turner Gallery " 
in Queen Anne Street, with the Danbys as custodians of 
it ; " the residue to the Eoyal Academy," on condition of 
their giving every year on his birthday, the 23rd of 
April, a dinner to all the members not to cost more than 
50. He also bequeathed 60 a year to a Professor of 
Landscape at the Eoyal Academy, and a gold medal 
worth 20 for the best landscape every second or third 
year. A later codicil (2nd of August, 1848) revoked 
the legacies to his relatives, and gave his pictures to the 
" National Gallery," provided " that a room or rooms are 
added to the present National Gallery, to be called 
' Turner's Gallery.' " This gift was annulled by a third 
codicil, " if the gallery be not built within ten years ; " 
and a fourth codicil (1st of February, 1849) orders a 
gratuitous exhibition in Queen Anne Street instead, 
assigns 1000 for his monument in St. Paul's (" where I 
desire to be buried among my brothers in art,") gives 
annuities of 150 to each of his housekeepers, 1000 to 
the Pension Fund of the Eoyal Academy (including the 
gold medal), 500 to the Artists' Benevolent Fund, 
500 to the Foundling, and 500 to the London Orphan 
Fund. His will was proved* 6th of September, 1852, 
and the effects sworn under 140,000. But the document 
was altogether so unskilfully drawn up, and so vague 
in its opposing instructions, that a four years' Chan- 
cery suit ensued (Trimmer v. Danby), and was decided 
by the Lord Chancellor proposing a compromise, in 
the judgment given on 19th of March, 1856, that the 
Eoyal Academy should receive 20,000 free of legacy 
duty ; 1000 to the executors for his monument ; the 
pictures and finished drawings, &c. to the National Gallery ; 
the real estate to the heir-at-law, and the remainder of his 
prints and other property to the next of kin. 

The Academy decided to keep the fund thus placed 
at their disposal separate from that usually applied by 

T 2 




324 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. IX 

them to charitable purposes, and to call it the " Turner 
Fund," to be employed for the relief of distressed artists, 
not members of the Eoyal Academy, but who from 
their poverty might have been eligible for the Turner 
Asylum intended to be established under his will. Six 
artists have since annually received 50 each from this 
fund. The portion of the fund which is not employed 
for charitable purposes is appropriated to the support of 
the schools. 

There were added to the national collection by this gift, 
98 finished oil pictures by Turner, and 270 unfinished 
productions, many mere canvases. Of the drawings and 
sketches, some on ragged scraps of paper and backs 
of letters, there were several hundreds. Many of the 
works thus made national property had been sold at 
the time they were painted, but were afterwards bought 
back by Turner very often at a much higher price 
than he received. Latterly he refused to sell his best 
pictures, having evidently long cherished the noble pur- 
pose of bequeathing them to his countrymen. To his 
friend and admirer, John Euskin, we owe the arrange- 
. ment and explanation of many of his sketches, and 

much information as to his life and works. 

, 

J Until the year 1800 he continued to reside in Hand 
' Court, No. 26 Maiden Lane ; for the next twelve years he 
x lived at 64 Harley Street, spending the summer months 
at Hammersmith. From 1812 till his death he occupied 
No. 47 Queen Anne Street West, which he rebuilt ; 
renting also, from 181$ to 1826, Sandycombe Lodge, 
Twickenham. His father resided with him till his death 
in 1830. 

He died, however, in lodgings which he had engaged 
(under the assumed name of Brooks) in a little cottage 
by the river side, near the pier of Cremorne Gardens at 
Chelsea, on the 19th of December, 1851, and was buried 
on the 30th of the same month, with some ceremony and 
state, in the crypt of St. Paul's Cathedral, by the side of 



CH. IX.] J. M. W. TURNER 325 

the remains of Eeynolds, Opie, Fuseli, and other illustrious 
predecessors in the arts. 

In person he was short, thick-set, with a broad expan- 
sive forehead, but a coarse pimply face, shaggy eyebrows, 
and thin lips there being little in his outward exterior 
to indicate the poetic conceptions within. His house in 
Queen Anne Street was rarely opened all was dirty, dark, 
and impenetrable. In it was stowed away the great mass 
of his productions, many of which were found hopelessly 
injured by dirt, damp, and neglect. Of late years he 
would never consent to sit for his portrait, even for and at 
the cost of his friends ; but he painted his own in early 
life, and sat to G. Dance in 1800. Twelve years before 
his death, Charles Turner (the engraver of the first twenty 
prints in the "Liber Studiorum,") contrived to take a 
sketch in profile which has been published, and others 
were taken some twenty-five or thirty years ago surrepti- 
tiously by Linnell and Mulready. The portrait sketch by 
himself, painted about 1802, forms part of the national 
collection. A sum of 1000 out of his property having 
been appropriated for a monument to be erected to his 
memory in St. Paul's Cathedral, Mr. P. M'Dowell re- 
ceived the commission to execute it. A statue in plaster 
was also exhibited in 1858 by Mr. Baily, modelled from 
personal recollections during a long-continued acquaint- 
ance. 

His motive for leaving his pictures to the nation has 
been regarded by many as being as much an act of vanity 
as of munificence ; and indeed his express request that two 
pictures he bequeathed should be hung side by side with 
the Claudes, which they were intended to rival, has the 
appearance of the former ; not so, however, his bequest 
of the bulk of his property for benevolent purposes to 
decayed artists, for it was a kind thought that the pro- 
fession to which he belonged should reap the benefit of 
a portion of his wealth. In the early part of his career 
he took part in the establishment of the Artists' General 



326 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. IX. 

Benevolent Fund, but afterwards seceded from it, wishing 
to accumulate the funds instead of dispensing them to ap- 
plicants, as soon as they were acquired, as was determined 
upon ; and doubtless even then purposing to carry his 
principle into practice out of the savings of his own 
successful career. In order to perpetuate his memory 
in another way, by stimulating rising artists to exertion 
in the same career, the Eoyal Academy has established 
a gold " Turner " medal in fulfilment of the wishes of 
the artist to be awarded at the biennial competitions for 
the best landscape by the students in their schools. The 
first thus offered was obtained by Mr. N. 0. Lupton in 
1857. 

HENEY THOMSON, E.A., was the son of a purser in the 
Navy, and was born at Portsea in 1773. Very little is 
known of his early history. He became a student at the 
Eoyal Academy in 1790, was elected an Associate in 
1801, and E.A. in 1804. He displayed considerable 
talent in historical painting, in which style of art he was 
for many years a contributor to the annual exhibition. 
He painted ' Perdita,' and one or two other subjects from 
the " Tempest," for the Boydell Shakspeare Gallery ; but 
his principal work is ' Eurydice borne back to Pluto,' a 
fine composition, full of power and beauty. On the 
death of Fuseli, in 1825, he was appointed Keeper of the 
Eoyal Academy, an office which he held for two years 
only, when severe bodily suffering compelled him to 
resign it, to relinquish his profession, and to retire to his 
native place. The Eoyal Academy presented him with a 
gold snuff-box, on his resignation of the office of keeper. 

Subsequently he took up his permanent residence at 
Portsea ; and when afterwards he partially recovered his 
health, he amused himself with boating, and making 
sketches of marine subjects, which he presented as 
mementos to his friends. A single specimen of his skill, 
but a very pleasing one, the ' Dead Eobin,' is in the 



CH. IX.] THOMSON OWEN 327 

Vernon collection. He painted many fancy pictures, 
'Crossing the Brook,' 'Peasants in a Storm,' 'Boys Fishing,' 
'Love Sheltered,' and 'Love's Ingratitude,' several 
landscapes, and many life-size full-length portraits. He 
exhibited between sixty and seventy pictures before ill- 
health compelled him to pass his later years in seclusion. 
He died on the 6th of April, 1843. 

WILLIAM OWEN, E.A., was born at Ludlow, in Shrop- 
shire, in 1769, and was educated at the Grammar School 
of that town. Although he had evinced a strong inclina^ 
tion for art in his youth, he did not receive any instruction 
in painting till 1786, when he was sent to London, and 
placed under Catton, who was then a member of the 
Eoyal Academy. A copy made by him from the Presi- 
dent's picture of ' Perdita ' introduced him to Eeynolds, 
and obtained for him the benefit of his advice. He 
became a student at the Eoyal Academy in 1791, and in 
1792 he exhibited his first portraits at Somerset House. 
In every succeeding year their number increased; and 
although he had many eminent competitors, he obtained 
considerable patronage. He painted portraits of William 
Pitt, Lord Grenville, the Marquis of Stafford, the Earl of 
Bridgwater, Sir William Scott, Soane the architect, and 
other celebrated persons, who were satisfied to employ an 
artist whose adherence to truth, and his skill in painting, 
compensated for the absence of a more popular name. 
He has thus been able to hand down to posterity faithful 
resemblances of men eminent in station and for talent, 
whose names in history make their portraits interesting to 
all future ages. Besides portraiture, Owen indulged his 
taste in painting pictures of a more poetic character. 
The ' Girl at the Spring,' the ' Eoadside,' the ' Children in 
the Wood,' the ' Cottage Door,' ' Venus,' a ' Bacchante,' 
the ' Sleeping Girl,' the ' Daughter of the Beggar of 
Bethnal Green,' and other such titles, are given to his 
works of this nature. In these subjects he did not take 



328 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. IX. 

so high a position as in portraiture, for his colouring was 
occasionally deficient in transparency and harmony ; but 
his drawing of heads was exact : he seized the individual 
character, and never failed to impress the image, mental 
and bodily, of his subject. 

He was elected an Associate in 1804, and in 1806 a 
Eoyal Academician. In 1810 he was appointed " Portrait 
Painter to the Prince of Wales," who, in, 1813, conferred 
on him the altered title of " Principal Portrait Painter to 
the Prince Eegent," and added to it the offer of knight- 
hood, which, however, he declined. Unhappily, during 
the last five years of his life he was in a hopeless state of 
debility, and was gradually wasting away, when, by a 
mistake of a chemist, he took a dose of opium, instead of 
the prescribed medicine, fell into a stupor for a few 
hours, and died on the llth of February, 1825. In 1798 
he had married a Miss Leaf, by whom he had a son, who, 
after being educated at Winchester and Oxford, entered 
the Church. In the beginning of his career as an artist 
he lived at 5 Coventry Street, and subsequently took a 
painting-room in Leicester Square, residing at Arabella 
Eow, Pimlico, from whence he removed, in 1818, to 
33 Bruton Street, where he died. 

SAMUEL WOODFOEDE, E.A., was born at Castle Gary, 
Somersetshire, in 1763, and was descended from an ancient 
and respectable family in that county. At the early 
age of fifteen, he was patronised by the late Mr. Hoare, 
of Stourhead, whose elegant villa contained the first 
efforts of his genius. He became a student at the Eoyal 
Academy in 1782, and in 1786 proceeded to Italy, being 
granted an annuity for the purpose by his generous patron. 
At Eome he chiefly studied the works of Eaffaelle and 
Michael Angelo, and thus acquired firmness in design. 
Subsequently, to improve his colouring, he copied, as an 
easel picture, the 'Family of Darius,' by Paolo Veronese, 
then in the Pisani Palace, but now in our National 



CH. IX.] WOODFORDE HOWARD 329 

Gallery. After visiting Venice, Florence, and other parts 
of Italy, in company with Sir E. C. Hoare, he returned 
to England in 1791, and was employed by Alderman 
Boydell to paint the 'Forest Scene' in "Titus Andronicus." 
He soon attained a conspicuous position as a historical 
and portrait painter. He particularly excelled in subjects 
of a sentimental nature, derived from poetry, and in the 
representation of fanciful characters. Among his prin- 
cipal works are ' Calypso lamenting the Departure of 
Ulysses,' ' Diana and her Nymphs,' a scene from the " Lay 
of the Last Minstrel," and ' Charles I. taking Leave of his 
Children,' a ' Spanish Shepherd with his Dog,' a portrait 
of the Earl of Winchelsea, and some of the family at 
Stourhead. His intense application, combined with his 
natural genius, rendered the productions of his pencil 
very correct in design, and attractive from their mode of 
treatment. He was elected an Associate in 1800, and 
E.A. in 1807. In 1815 he married, and shortly afterwards 
proceeded to Italy, where he died of a fever, at Bologna, 
on the 27th of July, 1817. 

HENEY HOWARD, E.A., was born on the 31st of January, 
176 9, and received his first instruction in art from Philip 
Eeinagle, with whom he was placed as a pupil at the age 
of seventeen. In March 1788, he became a student at 
the Eoyal Academy, and, as such, was remarkably success- 
ful, being the first student who received at one time 
(10th of December 1790) the two highest premiums 
awarded the first silver medal for the best drawing 
from the life, and the -gold medal for the best historical 
painting, the subject selected for the latter being 
1 Caractacus recognising the dead Body of his Son.' On 
presenting him with these honours, Sir Joshua Eeynolds 
bestowed special commendation on his efforts. Thus 
encouraged, he proceeded the next year to Italy, with an 
introduction from the President to Lord Hervey, the 
British Minister at Florence : from thence he went to 



330 HISTORY OF THE EOYAL ACADEMY [On. IX. 

Eome, arid there, in conjunction with Flaxman, pursued 
his studies. Deare, a sculptor of great ability, joined 
them in making a set of outlines of celebrated antique 
sculptures, each correcting the other's sketch until it was 
considered perfect, when it was traced off. Many of these 
interesting works remained in Howard's possession till his 
death. During his first year at Eome he sent a picture of 
the ' Dream of Cain ' to the exhibition ; and on his return 
to England, he was engaged to make a series of finished 
drawings from antique sculpture for the Dilettanti Society. 
Besides these, he made designs for bassi-relievi, and groups 
to be worked in silver, and drew a large number of 
illustrations to the works of the poets and essayists pub- 
lished at the period. 

He came home by Vienna and Dresden, and reached 
England in September 1794. In 1796 he exhibited 
' ^Eneas and Anchises,' and the ' Planets drawing Light 
.from the Sun,' which were classic compositions of great 
taste. These were annually followed, for more than half 
a century, by similar works, all of the same academic 
character ; although sometimes illustrating Scripture, 
ancient and modern history, mythology, and poetry. In 
all his works the colouring is chaste and harmonious, the 
figures well drawn and nicely grouped, and the general 
effect pure and pleasing, without exciting any decided 
emotions, or inspiring admiration of any original genius 
in the artist. 

In 1800 he was elected an Associate, and in 1808 
became a Eoyal Academician. In 1811 he was appointed 
secretary, in succession to Eichards,.and continued to hold 
the office till his death. In 1814 he won the prize for 
the medal of the Patriotic Society, and was subsequently 
employed in preparing the designs for the medals and 
great seals required by the Government. In 1833 he 
was appointed Professor of Painting at the Academy, and 
in this capacity delivered a course of lectures to the 
students, which are remarkable for the views they take of 



CH. IX.] HOWARD PHILLIPS 831 

art in its higher qualities, for the clearness with which 
the principles he lays down are explained and established, 
for the elevated sentiments he endeavours to instil into 
the minds of the students, and for the elegance of the 
diction in which his instructions are conveyed. In 1834, 
as Secretary of the Eoyal Academy, Howard gave evidence 
before the Select Committee of the House of Commons, 
respecting the position of the institution, in reference to 
its claim to be kept independent of public or Government 
control ; and again, in 1836, before the Select Committee 
on Arts and Manufactures, in which he showed that its 
resources were mainly derived from the labours of its 
own members. 

In 1843, when in his seventy-fourth year, he was still 
so devoted to art that when the Cartoon Exhibition, 
under the Eoyal Fine Arts Commission, was proposed, he 
entered eagerly into the competition with his younger 
brethren, and was awarded one of the premiums of 100 
for his cartoon representing ' Man Beset by contending 
Passions.' Among his most admired works were the 
'Pleiades,' the 'Birth of Venus,' the 'Solar System,' 
Milton's ' Comus,' and the ' Story of Pandora,' some of 
which are in the Stafford Gallery, and some in the Soane 
Museum. He occasionally painted portraits and land- 
scapes, and was untiringly active to the end of his life. 
He died at Oxford on the 5th of October, 1847. His son, 
Frank Howard, has published the Lectures delivered by 
his father, with a memoir, and several treatises on the 
elements of art, and is well known as an able designer. 
A portrait of his daughter, in a Florentine costume (called 
a ' Flower Girl '), is in the Vernon Collection. 

THOMAS PHILLIPS, E.A., was born at Dudley, in War- 
wickshire, on 18th October, 1770. He was placed with 
a glass painter named Edgington, at Birmingham, to 
learn that art ; and having had some initiatory practice in 
the country, he came to London- in 1790, with a letter of 



332 HISTOKY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. IX. 

introduction to West, who found employment for him at 
Windsor on the glass painting in St. George's Chapel. In 
1791 he became a student at the Eoyal Academy, and 
the next year he sent to the exhibition a view of ' Windsor 
Castle from the North-east.' In 1793 he exhibited two 
historical pictures ' The Death of Talbot, Earl of Shrews- 
bury, at the battle of Cassillon,' and 'Euth and her 
Mother-in-law.' These showed his capabilities as a 
painter in oils, and were followed by ' Elijah restoring 
the Widow's Son ; ' ' Cupid disarmed by Euphrosyne,' and 
other similar works. In 1796 he seemed to have turned 
his attention chiefly to portrait painting ; and although he 
continued occasionally to paint historical and fancy sub- 
jects, it is as a portrait painter that he has acquired cele- 
brity. While Hoppner, Owen, Jackson, and Lawrence, 
and others of high repute in the art, were his contempo- 
raries, he found constant occupation ; and there were 
but few men of his time, eminent in literature and science, 
who did not sit to him, for persons of talent seem to 
have especially chosen him as the painter of their por- 
traits, although he received but little Eoyal or noble 
patronage. 

In 1804 he went to reside at No. 8 George Street, 
Hanover Square, the house he occupied till his death. 
In the same year he was elected an Associate of the 
Eoyal Academy, and in 1808 he became an E.A. when 
he presented, as his diploma picture, ' Venus and Adonis.' 
He was appointed Professor of Painting, in succession to 
Euseli, in 1825, and on receiving this appointment he made 
a journey to Italy, in company with Hilton, to gain some 
information necessary to enable him to fulfil the duties 
of the office. He subsequently delivered ten lectures on 
the history and principles of painting, which he published 
after he resigned the professorship in 1832. The first four 
are on the history of painting, the fifth on invention, the 
sixth on design, the seventh on composition, the eighth 
on colouring, the ninth on chiaroscuro, and the tenth on 



Cn.IX.] THOMAS PHILLIPS 333 

the application of the principles of painting. These lec- 
tures are characterised by refinement of feeling, more than 
by originality of thought, are clear and simple in their 
style, and instructive in substance and arrangement, espe- 
cially when explaining his views on the principles of art. 
Many of his portraits are of great interest. Lord 
Thurlow sat to him in 1802 ; and in the same year he 
painted, partly by stealth, but with the connivance of 
Josephine, and partly from memory, a portrait of Napo- 
leon I., now at Petworth, which has been engraved. He 
also painted portraits of some of our own Eoyal Family 
the Prince of Wales in 1806 ; the Duke of York in 
1823 ; and the Duke of Sussex in 1840. Besides these, 
he has preserved to us likenesses of Blake, the painter, 
1807 ; Sir Joseph Banks, the President of the Eoyal 
Society, hi 1809 ; two of Lord Byron in 1814 ; Sir F. 
Chantrey in 1818 ; the poet Crabbe, 1819 ; Earl Grey 
and Lord Brougham, 1820 ; Major Denham, the African 
traveller, in 1826 (which Sir T. Lawrence considered 
his best portrait) ; Lord Stowell, Sir E. Parry, and Sir I. 
Brunei in 1827 ; Sir D. Wilkie in 1829 ; Mrs. Somerville 
and Sir F. Burdett in 1834 ; Lord Lyndhurst, 1836 ; the 
Earl of Egremont and Dr. Arnold, 1839 ; Lord Chief 
Justice Tindal, 1840 ; Dr. Shuttleworth, Bishop of 
Chichester, 1842 ; Dr. Buckland ; Professors Sedgwick 
and Faraday ; Sir H. Davy ; Hallam, the historian, and 
many others. He also painted portraits of Scott, Southey, 
Coleridge, Campbell, and other literary characters, for 
Mr. Murray, the publisher, and exhibited a few pic- 
tures, in a different style, at intervals, such as ' Field 
Sports,' in 1832; 'Kebecca,' in 1833; a 'Nymph reposing,' 
in 1837; and 'Flora Mclvor,' in 1839; and still later, the 
' Expulsion from Paradise,' now at Petworth. One of his 
last works was a portrait of himself, an excellent likeness. 
Besides his artistic labours, he wrote many articles on 
the Fine Arts, in Eees's " Cyclopedia," and other publi- 
cations, and was one of the chief promoters of the Artists' 



334 mSTORY OF TIIE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. IX. 

General Benevolent Institution. He died on the 20th of 
April, 1845, in his 75th year. He presented a portrait of 
Wilkie to the National Gallery in 1841, and there is a 
study of a ' Wood Nymph ' by him in the Vernon Gallery. 

Sir AUGUSTUS WALL CALLCOTT,E.A., was born at Kensing- 
ton, in 1779. He was brother to the celebrated musical 
composer, Dr. Callcott, and in early life officiated in the 
choir of Westminster Abbey, under Dr. Cooke. His taste 
seemed, however, to incline him rather to follow painting 
than music as a profession ; but for some time he pursued 
both studies together, and is said to have confirmed his 
resolution to become a painter by his admiration of some 
designs for " Eobinson Crusoe " by Stothard. He became 
a pupil of Hoppner, the portrait painter, and a student at 
the Eoyal Academy in 1797, and two years afterwards 
exhibited a portrait he had painted under his eminent 
master's tuition. A brief experience, however, showed 
him that that branch of art was not suited to his abilities ; 
and from 1803 he devoted himself exclusively to the 
practice of landscape painting, until the last few years of 
his life. He was elected an Associate of the Eoyal 
Academy in 1806, and an Academician in 1810. He 
presented a picture, called 'Morning,' as his diploma 
work, a landscape of great beauty. For many years 
he annually contributed similar works to the exhibition. 
Generally, his landscapes are of small dimensions, but a 
few were of large size. All bear the same characteristics, 
extensive views, simple and tranquil in character, 
fascinating to the refined eye of the true lover of nature, 
but too cold and monotonous in colour to attract general 
attention. His pictures are truthful and beautiful, always 
pleasing, and very characteristic. His marine pieces are 
especially distinguished by their soothing and placid 
character. Sometimes he introduced prominent groups 
of figures in his landscapes ; in one, ' Harvest in the 
Highlands,' exhibited in 1833, the figures were by Edwin 



CH. IX.] SIE A. W. CALLCOTT 335 

Landseer. Subsequently he seems to have been ambitious 
to change his style, for in 1837 he exhibited ' Eaphael 
and the Fornarina,' which, as well as the picture just 
referred to, are well known by the Art Union engravings 
from them. The ' Eaphael ' is so well drawn, so charac- 
teristic, and so full of the sentiment required by the 
subject, that it is a very remarkable work, when considered 
as the production of a landscape painter, and would almost 
lead us to suppose that he had mistaken his forte, were 
it not for the truth and beauty of nature which he 
imparts to his scenery. Yet there are no peculiarities in 
his landscapes ; they represent things as they are under 
ordinary circumstances, the effects of light, shadow, and 
colour are all true, the sky calm, the scene peaceful, the 
sea or the river reposing, with just enough of poetic 
treatment to keep the subject strictly truthful, and yet to 
present nature in her happiest guise. It is these charac- 
teristics which have obtained for him the title of the 
"English Claude." 

In 1840 he exhibited another work in the same style 
as the ' Eaphael,' ' Milton dictating to his Daughters,' a 
composition of such an ordinary nature that it showed 
that his true powers were not in history, but as a landscape 
painter, and as such he will always take a high place. 
In 1827 he was married to the widow of Captain 
Graham, E.N., a lady who had previously been known 
as an authoress, and who published in 1836 her " Essays 
towards the History of Painting." In 1837 Callcott 
received the honour of knighthood from the Queen ; and 
in 1844 he was appointed to succeed Mr. Seguier as Con- 
servator of the Eoyal Pictures, an office which he held 
for a few months only. He had a quiet, reserved manner, 
but was social and hospitable in feeling. Admired for 
his talents as an artist, and respected for his estimable 
private character, he pursued the even tenor of his way 
till 1842, when Lady Callcott died ; and on the 25th of 
November, 1844, he also departed this life at Kensington, 



836 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [Cn. IX. 

in his 65th year, and was buried in the same grave with 
her at Kensal Green Cemetery, where a flat table-tomb 
marks the site. There is a large number of his works 
in the Vernon and Sheepshanks collections. 

Sir DAVID WILKIE, E.A., one of Scotland's most famous 
artists, was the third son of David Wilkie, minister of 
Cults, and Isabella Lister, his third wife. He was born 
at his father's manse, on the banks of Eden-water, in 
Fifeshire, on the 18th of November, 1785. He has been 
heard to say that he could draw before he could read, and 
paint before he could spell. When seven years of age, 
he was sent to the school of Pitlissie, but he learnt little 
or nothing there. In his twelfth year he was placed 
under Dr. Strachan, then master of the Grammar School 
of Kettle (now Bishop of Toronto) ; but he paid little 
attention to anything but drawing. After an ineffectual 
attempt to make him a minister, he was sent, in 1799, to 
the Trustees' Academy, at Edinburgh, where he was at 
first refused admission, but, by the interest of the Earl of 
Leven, afterwards obtained it. At this school Wilkie 
became acquainted with Sir W. Allan, John Burnet, and 
Alexander Eraser. Burnet writes of him that " though 
behind in skill, he, however, surpassed and that from 
the first all his companions in comprehending the 
character of whatever he was set to draw." In 1803 he 
won the ten-guinea premium offered by the Trustees' 
Academy for the best painting of ' Callisto in the Bath of 
Diana.' In the same year he made the sketch for the 
' Village Politicians.' 



In 1804 he returned home, and painted for Kinnear of 
Kinloch his picture of ' Pitlissie Fair,' in which he inserted 
about 140 figures, mostly portraits, and many of them 
sketched while he was at church. For this picture he 
received only 25. At this time he also painted many 
small portraits and miniatures. His success induced him 
to visit London, and he took a lodging at No. 11 Norton 



CH.IX.} SIR D. WILKIE 337 

Street. In 1805 lie obtained admission as a student at 
the Eoyal Academy. His picture of The Village Eecruit' 
was exhibited in a shop window at Charing Cross ; and 
being marked at the low price of 6, it soon found a pur- 
chaser. Mr. Stodart, the pianoforte-maker, was Wilkie's 
first patron in London. He saj to him for his portrait, 
commissioned him to paint two pictures, and helped him 
to a valuable connection. The Earl of Mansfield, to 
whom he was introduced by Stodart, commissioned him 
to paint ' The Village Politicians,' for doing which he 
requested fifteen guineas. It was exhibited at the Eoyal 
Academy in 1806, excited universal admiration, and 100 
was offered by two parties for it. Wilkie, however, kept 
his engagement with Lord Mansfield, who gave him thirty 
guineas for the picture. In 1807 he was living at Sol's 
Eow, Hampstead Eoad, where he painted the ' Blind 
Fiddler,' which, when exhibited, at once established his 
reputation. It was purchased by Sir George Beaumont, 
and is now in the National collection. Commissions were 
now abundant, from Mr. Whitbread, Lord Mulgrave, and 
Sir G. Beaumont, and he painted in succession ' Alfred,' 
' The Card Players,' and ' The Eent Day.' In 1807-8 he 
produced 'The sick Lady,' 'The Jew's Harp,' and 'The Cut 
Finger.' After these came the sketch of 'Eeading the 
Will,' 'The Wardrobe ransacked,' 'The Gamekeeper,' and 
'The Village Festival,' aU painted in 1809-11. 

In 1809 he was elected an Associate, and in 1811 he 
became a Eoyal Academician. At this time his weakly 
constitution rendered it necessary for him to seek the bene- 
fit of his native air. He visited Scotland in August 1811, 
and after his return established himself at No. 24 Lower 
Phillimore Place, Kensington. In 1812 he collected his 
pictures for exhibition at 87 Pall Mall : there were twenty- 
nine in all, including sketches, but the expenses were 414, 
and the receipts altogether insufficient to cover them. 
After this time other pictures followed, now familiar to 
all 'Bhndman's Buff,' in 1813; 'The Letter of Intro- 

VOL. i. z 



338 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [Cn. IX. 

duction,' and ' Duncan Gray,' in 1814 ; * Distraining for 
Kent,' purchased by the British Institution for 600 guineas, 
in 1815; and 'The Eabbit on the Wall,' in 1816. 
Several others intervened between these and ' The Bead- 
ing of the Will,' painted in 1820 for the King of Bavaria, 
and ' Chelsea Pensioners Eeading the Gazette of the 
Battle of Waterloo,' painted in 1822, being a commission 
from the Duke of Wellington, for which he received 
1200 from the Duke, and 1200 from Alderman 
Moon for the copyright of the engraving. 

In 1814 he went with Hay don to Paris, to study the 
spoils of the churches and galleries of the Continent, 
collected together at the Louvre by Napoleon I. In 1816 
he accompanied Eaimbach the engraver to Holland and 
Belgium, and in 1817 visited Sir Walter Scott, when he 
painted an interesting picture of him and his family. A 
continued course of prosperity was interrupted in 1825 by 
the loss of a considerable sum of money in a speculation 
in which Wilkie had unfortunately engaged. This seri- 
ously affected his health, and some fears were entertained 
for his mental faculties. He was advised to travel, and to 
abstain altogether from painting for a time. He accord- 
ingly left England in the summer of 1826 on a long 
Continental tour, including Paris, Switzerland, Vienna, 
Dresden, Eome, and Madrid, and he remained abroad till 
1828. The Spanish school evidently strongly impressed 
him, for henceforward his style completely changed its 
character, no longer the simple, unaffected painter of 
English domestic life, he now depicted Spanish monks, 
guerillas, peasants, battle scenes, &c., which, while they 
manifested his ambition to excel in representing historic 
scenes as well as those of common life, by which he had 
acquired his fame, certainly did not enhance his reputa- 
tion, although many of them displayed great ability. 
The regret at the change was almost universal, although 
with some his new style found attractions. One confessed 
object of Wilkie in this change of style was to obtain 



CH. IX.] SIR D. WILKIE 339 

rapidity in painting, an effort which is showing its fruits 
in the rapid decay of his later pictures, while the earlier 
ones are still in excellent preservation. 

His principal pictures in his second style are 'The 
Maid of Saragossa,' ' The Guerilla's Departure and Ee- 
turn,' ' Spanish Monks,' ' Columbus,' ' John Knox Preach- 
ing,' ' Mary Queen of Scots escaping from Loch Leven,' 
' Cellini and the Pope,' ' The Irish Whiskey Still,' and 
several portraits in the manner of Velasquez. In 1823 he 
was appointed limner to the King in Scotland, in succes- 
sion to Sir H. Eaeburn ; and in 1830, on the death of 
Lawrence, he became Painter in Ordinary to George IV., 
whose portrait he took in a highland costume. In 1836 
he was knighted by William IV., and afterwards removed 
to a more spacious house in Vicarage Place, Kensington. 
On the accession of the Queen, he painted a picture of 
' Her Majesty's First Council,' and had also a few sittings 
for the Queen's portrait. Her Majesty suggested that he 
should paint the portrait of the Sultan for her. He 
accordingly proceeded to Constantinople, making many 
interesting sketches of Oriental life. He visited Jerusalem, 
and other celebrated localities in the East, and when 
returning in the " Oriental " steamer, was seized with ill- 
ness between Alexandria and Gibraltar, which in a few 
hours terminated fatally on the 1st of June, 1841. In the 
evening of the same day his body was committed to the 
deep, the burial service being read by the Eev. J. 
Vaughan^ rector of Wraxall, who was a passenger on 
board. This touching scene formed the subject of a pic- 
ture by Turner, in the National Collection. A marble 
statue by Joseph was erected by public subscription, and 
placed in the National Gallery. It may have resembled 
him in his youth, but it is not very like what he was in 
later years, either in stature or character. In the National 
Collections there are (besides 'The Blind Fiddler') ' The 
Village Festival,' 'The Parish Beadle,' 'The Bagpiper,' 
' The First Ear-ring,' a portrait of Thomas Daniell, E.A., 

z 2 



340 IHSTOKY OF THE EOYAL ACADEMY [Cn. IX. 

a Woody Landscape, ' Newsmongers,' ' Peep-o'-Day Boy's 
Cabin,' ' The Broken Jar,' ' Duncan Gray,' and several 
drawings and sketches. 

No description is needed of Wilkie's works all of his 
earlier and most popular ones have been repeatedly 
engraved, and are known and appreciated where those of 
the great masters of Italy have never found an entrance. 
In his later works so dissimilar to his first that they 
might as well be the productions of a different head and 
hand he laboured to attain effect in colour and chiaro- 
scuro, combined with breadth and facility in execution ; 
conceiving that these were a nearer approach to high art 
than the simplicity, truth, and laborious detail and finish 
which characterised his early pictures, the charm of which 
consisted in the forcible and impressive mannerin which he 
delineated human life in various phases, so as to awaken the 
sympathies of the beholder, and to incite him to share the joy 
or the sorrow of those whose history was so effectively told 
on his canvas. In personal character, Wilkie merited all 
the respect and honour he attained ; he was upright and 
straightforward, modest, yet full of moral courage, patient 
and determined in study, cherishing enduring friendships, 
and appreciating the beautiful both in nature and art. 

JAMES WAKD, E.A., was born in Thames Street, in 
London, on 23rd of October, 1769. When he was seven 
years old he was taken from school, in consequence of 
untoward family circumstances, and at twelve was sent to 
join an elder brother, William Ward (who was articled to 
J. E. Smith, a mezzotint engraver), who did not help him 
to draw, but employed him chiefly as an errand-boy. 
He, however, managed on bits of paper to draw with 
chalk, and after serving an apprenticeship of nine years 
to engraving (seven and a half with his brother and one 
and a half with Smith) an accident led to his trying his 
hand at painting. A picture of Copley's was 1 injured 
while in his brother's charge for engraving, and James 



CH. IX.] JAMES WARD 841 

Ward volunteered to repair it. Succeeding in this, he 
tried to paint a picture on canvas, and subsequently care- 
fully studied the works of George Morland (with whom 
his family was on intimate terms, and who lived with 
them at this time at Kensal Green), and so closely imitated 
his manner, that the dealers bought his pictures at a low 
price, and after signing them with Morland's name, sold 
them at a much higher rate. Competent judges declared 
that Ward's pictures had better qualities than those of 
Morland, and that those who were thus deceived were 
gainers by the fraud. These works were exported largely 
to Ireland and France. 

A picture of a ' Bull-bait,' painted in his early career, 
was well hung at the Eoyal Academy, and being full of 
figures, attracted great attention : but Ward heard the 
visitors remark, " That is by a pupil of Morland ; " and 
from that time he determined to pursue a more distinct 
and original style, and his study of anatomy under 
Brooks gave him power to realise works of a much higher 
character. His first commission was to engrave Sir 
William Beechey's 'Eeview.' One of his plates from 
Eembrandt's ' Cornelius the Centurion,' is especially 
prized by collectors. In 1794 he was appointed painter 
and engraver to the Prince of Wales, and for many years 
was chiefly employed in painting portraits of favourite 
animals. He afterwards sought to become an Associate of 
the Eoyal Academy ; but being principally known as an 
engraver, he did not at first succeed, as he wished to be 
entered as a painter, that he might eventually rise to be a 
Eoyal Academician. He therefore surrendered the fair 
prospects of a popular engraver for the future fame of a 
painter, and this at a time when he was earning 2000 
a year with the burin. At the suggestion of West 
and Sir G. Beaumont, he painted several large pictures 
to make known his skill in that higher branch of art : 
these were 'The Horse and Serpent,' life size, 'Deer- 
stalking,' ' Bulls Fighting,' and ' The Fall of Photon.' 



342 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. IX. 

He at last succeeded in establishing his claims to the 
title of painter, and was elected an Associate in 1807, and 
a Eoyal Academician in 1811. Many commissions from 
noblemen and gentlemen folio wed, and when, after the battle 
of Waterloo, the British Institution offered a premium of 
1000 for a design commemorative of the victory, Ward 
sent in a sketch to which the first premium was awarded. 
From it a national picture was painted for Chelsea Hos- 
pital. It was an allegory, and when exhibited at the 
Egyptian Hall was very severely censured by the public. 
At that time, however (1820), the trial of Queen Caro- 
line absorbed public attention, and the interest in the 
great victory had passed away ; the exhibition was sud- 
denly closed, and the picture was subsequently hung up at 
Chelsea Hospital, but eventually it was taken down and 
rolled up, in which state it has been left ever since. Its 
dimensions were 35 feet by 26 feet. 

Following up this fanciful idea, Ward next painted 
religious allegories ' The Star of Bethlehem,' ' The 
Triumph over Sin, Death, and Hell,' ' The Angel troubling 
the Pool of Bethesda,' &c., none of which were favour- 
ably received, although his scenes of animal and rustic 
life, intermingled with these more venturesome works, 
still displayed the abilities of the artist. In 1822 he 
painted a picture in avowed rivalry with the famous Paul 
Potter ' The Bull, Cow, and Calf ' (now at the Crystal 
Palace). A subsequent work, ' The Council of Horses,' 
is a fine specimen of his skill in that particular style in 
which he most exceUed. This, and another fine picture, 
his ' View in De Tabley Park,' are in the Vernon Gallery. 
Three smaller specimens are in the Sheepshanks Collec- 
tion. He lived to a great age, and continued almost to 
the last to employ his pencil, with no abatement of spirit, 
though with enfeebled powers. In 1855 he exhibited for 
the last time at the Eoyal Academy (he was then eighty- 
six) a picture entitled ' The Morning Grey, with Cattle 
of different breeds.' 



CH. EL] WARD BONE 343 

He died, in his 91st year, on the 17th of November, 
1859. He possessed undoubted talents as an artist, 
although he sometimes attempted subjects beyond his 
grasp ; he was simple and unpretending in manner, and a 
sincerely religious man. The personal history of many 
artists is linked with his for he was the contemporary of 
many of the founders of the Eoyal Academy, was brother- 
in-law of George Morland, father-in-law of Jackson the 
portrait painter, and father of Mr. G. E. Ward the mezzo- 
tint engraver, whose daughter married E. M. Ward, E.A., 
and is herself an artist of great ability. 

HENRY BOXE, E.A., was the son of a cabinet-maker at 
Truro, in Cornwall, and was born there on the 6th of 
February, 1755. He was apprenticed to a china-manufac- 
turer named Cockworthy, first at Plymouth and then at 
Bristol, who employed him in painting landscapes and 
groups of flowers to ornament porcelain, and in making 
them indelible by the operation of fire. This was his 
introduction to, and training for, that art of enamel paint- 
ing in which he became so eminent. In August 1778 he 
removed to London, and earned a subsistence by making 
devices for lockets, &c., and painting miniatures in water- 
colours. Meanwhile he studied to attain perfection in 
the art of enamel ; and, as a first specimen in that style, 
painted 'The Sleeping Girl' after Sir J. Eeynolds. A 
portrait of his wife, in the same style, exhibited at the 
Eoyal Academy in 1780, and an original picture in 
enamel, 5^ inches by 4J, were among the first works by 
which he acquired a name as an artist. An enamel por- 
trait of the Earl of Eglinton by him was purchased by 
the Prince of Wales. He continued to copy, on a scale 
hitherto unattained in enamel, some of Eeynolds's choicest 
works ; among these were ' The Death of Dido,' ' Cymon 
and Iphigenia,' ' Venus,' and ' Hope nursing Love.' 
Besides these, he copied ' The Venus recumbent,' after 
Titian ; ' Bathsheba,' by N. Poussin ; ' La Belle Vierge,' 



344 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. IX. 

after Eaphael ; and an ' Assumption of the Virgin,' after 
Murillo. A work which excited great admiration was a 
copy of the ' Bacchus and Ariadne,' by Titian (now in 
the National Gallery), copied in dimensions never ap- 
proached by any other enamel painter, 18 by 16 inches. 
Mr. G. Bowles, of Cavendish Square, paid 2200 guineas 
for this work. Bone also executed on enamel many of 
his own miniatures, and a series of portraits of the 
Eussell family from the time of Henry VII., now at 
Woburn Abbey a commission from the late Duke of 
Bedford ; also a series of portraits of the principal royal- 
ists distinguished during the civil war, for J. P. Ord, Esq., 
of Edge Hill, near Derby, some of which were completed 
after his death by his talented son, H. P. Bone. The 
work which will give him lasting fame, is the series of 
eighty-five portraits of distinguished persons in the reign 
of Queen Elizabeth, which he enamelled from the ori- 
ginals in the Eoyal and other collections, varying in size 
from 4 to 13 inches. They cost him infinite labour, 
care, and anxiety, but unfortunately he reaped no pecu- 
niary reward from his labour upon them ; they remained 
in his possession till his death, when he requested that 
they might be offered to the Government at the small 
price of 5000, or half their estimated value. The pur- 
chase was, however, declined, much to the regret of all 
true lovers of art, and a collection which would have had 
a permanent value, as illustrating one of the most interest- 
ing periods of English history, was dispersed by auction, 
and will now be found scattered in the cabinets of col- 
lectors who prefer what is beautiful to that which is 
merely curious. 

In 1800, Bone received the distinction of being ap- 
pointed enamel painter to the Prince of Wales, arid he 
was successively appointed to the same office by George 
III., George IV., and William IV. He became an Asso- 
ciate in 1801, and a Eoyal Academician in 1811. For the 
next twenty-one years of his life he continued to pursue 



CH. IX.] REINAGLE DAWE 845 

his art with untiring perseverance, and became the most 
distinguished enamel painter of his time. In 1831 he 
was compeUed by age to relinquish the pursuit, and he 
died on the 17th of December, 1834, in his 78th year. 
He resided at 15 Berners Street, Oxford Street. 

PHILIP EEINAGLE, E.A., was born in 1749, and was a 
pupil of Allan Eamsay, the Court painter, under whom 
he studied portraiture, a specimen of which he exhibited 
in 1776 ; but not finding it a congenial employment, he 
turned his attention to the study of animals, and suc- 
ceeded admirably in depicting hunting subjects, sporting 
dogs, shaggy ponies, and dead game. Besides these ori- 
ginal works, he was an excellent copyist of the old Dutch 
masters, and many small pictures after Paul Potter, Berg- 
hem, A. Vandervelde, Du Jardin, and others, now regarded 
as originals by those artists, were made by him. He was 
also a landscape painter, and assisted Barker in painting 
his panoramas of Rome, the Bay of Naples, Florence, 
Gibraltar, Algesiras Bay, and Paris. His reputation, 
however, rests chiefly on his sporting subjects, and his 
skill is popularly known by the publication of "The Sports- 
man's Cabinet, or correct delineations of the various Dogs 
used in the Sports of the Field, taken from life, and en- 
graved by John Scott." Reinagle became a student at the 
Royal Academy in 1769; was elected an Associate in 
1787, and a Royal Academician in 1812. He died at 
Chelsea on the 27th of November, 1833, aged 84. 

GEORGE DAWE, R.A., was born in Brewer Street, Golden 
Square, on the 8th of February, 1781. His father, Philip 
Dawe, an engraver, appears to have brought him up to 
the same profession, as he is known to have executed in 
mezzotint, when only fourteen years old, engravings after 
Graham of ' Mary, Queen of Scots,' and ' Elizabeth and 
St. John,' besides several other works. With the engraving 
of the monumental group to the Marquis of Cornwallis 



346 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. IX. 

by Bacon, executed when he was twenty-one, Dawe seems 
to have altogether abandoned this branch of the art, 
though his productions indicate that he would have taken 
no mean position among engravers, had he continued to 
pursue it. In early life he had been apprenticed to a 
painter in crayons, the father of the celebrated George 
Morland. With this latter artist he then commenced a 
friendship which continued undiminished through all 
the changes and trials of their after lives. In 1794, 
Dawe became a student at the Eoyal Academy, and not 
satisfied with studying from the living model there, he 
attended the public lectures on anatomy, and practised 
dissection at home. He studied moral philosophy and 
metaphysics, and later in life acquired a knowledge of 
the French, German, and Eussian languages. In 1803 
he obtained the gold medal awarded by the Academy 
for the best historical painting, the subject being 
' Achilles.' In 1807 he published a " Life of Morland," 
the friend of his youth, the only work written by him 
which has issued from the press, although he left in MS. 
at his decease an Essay on Colours, and several other 
similar performances. 

Dawe's talents were principally displayed in the paint- 
ing of portraits, one of which, a whole-length of Mrs. 
White, the wife of an eminent surgeon, exhibited at the 
Eoyal Academy in 1809, elicited great praise ; in the 
same year he was elected an Associate. In 1810 ap- 
peared ' Andromache imploring Ulysses to spare her Son.' 
In 1814 he became a Eoyal Academician, and on that 
occasion presented ' The Demoniac' as his diploma work. 
Among the portraits he painted about this time, that of 
Miss O'Neil in the character of Juliet (which, being too 
late for the Eoyal Academy, was exhibited at his house in 
Newman Street), attracted especial attention ; and the 
groups of Mrs. Hammersley and her child, and Mrs. Wil- 
mot and her daughter, as well as the portrait of Coleridge 
the poet, were also much admired. His historical pic- 



CH. IX.] GEORGE DAWE 347 

tures were not numerous, but were all of considerable 
pretensions. The first he is known to have painted was 
' Achilles frantic for the loss of Patroclus,' the work by 
which he won the Eoyal Academy gold medal. A 
scene from " Cymbeline " procured for him the highest 
premium, 200 guineas, offered by the British Institution 
for the subject. ' Naomi and her Daughter,' ' The Infant 
Hercules strangling the Serpent,' and a picture from Cole- 
ridge's " Genevieve " followed in the same style. The 
' Negro and the Buffalo,' purchased by Mr. Holford, ob- 
tained the first premium at the British Institution, where 
it was exhibited in 1811. The last work of this class 
he painted was seen at the Academy, and excited con- 
siderable interest, both from the nature of the subject 
and the treatment of it. This picture was, ' The Mother 
rescuing her Child from an Eagle's Nest,' and was pur- 
chased by the Earl of Cassilis. It is said that Dawe 
made a tour in the Highlands and in Cumberland, taking 
his canvas with him, in order that his representation 
of this scene might be a truthful one. 

He was now destined for employment both by the 
Court of England and the Emperor of Eussia, and his 
name and works thus became associated with the events 
then taking place in Europe, which will always have an 
enduring place in history. Soon after the marriage of 
the Princess Charlotte with Prince Leopold, Dawe was 
honoured with their patronage, and painted several por- 
traits of the Royal couple in all varieties of costume. 
After the death of the lamented Princess he obtained the 
patronage of the Duke and Duchess of Kent, and went in 
the suite of his Royal Highness to Brussels, and thence to 
the grand review of the allied troops at Cambray, where, 
and at Aix-la-Chapelle, he painted portraits of the Duke 
of Wellington, Lord Hill, and several of the most dis- 
tinguished Russian officers. At this time he was engaged 
by the Emperor Alexander to proceed to St. Petersburg 
to paint a collection of portraits of all the eminent Russian 



348 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. IX. 

officers who had taken part in the recent war with Napo- 
leon. He returned to England for a short time, and set out 
on this undertaking in January 1819. On the way, he 
stopped at Brussels, where he painted the Prince and 
Princess of Orange ; at Coburg, where he made a por- 
trait of the reigning Duke ; and at Weimar, where Goethe 
sat to him, as well as the Grand Duke of Meinengen, and 
the Emperor's sister. He reached St. Petersburg in the 
course of the summer, and at once commenced his 
arduous undertaking. Nine years were occupied in paint- 
ing some four hundred portraits of Eussian officers. For 
the reception of this grand series, a gallery was espe- 
cially erected at the Winter Palace, which was first con- 
secrated, and then opened publicly by the Emperor, 
attended by his chief officers of state. In addition to 
this great national work, Dawe painted several portraits 
of the Emperor and of the members of the Imperial 
family, many of the illustrious persons of the empire as 
well as private individuals, and made copies of several of 
the military portraits. In order that the chief of his 
numerous portraits might be engraved, he induced Mr. 
Thomas Wright and Mr. C. E. WagstafF to accompany 
him, and after their return to England he remained for 
some years at St. Petersburg, busily employed and 
amassing wealth, till the sudden death of the Emperor 
Alexander deprived him of his liberal patron and power- 
ful protector. Dawe then received peremptory orders to 
quit Eussia, which he did at great loss and personal incon- 
venience, on account of the short time allowed him to 
arrange his affairs. After his return to England in 1828, 
he exhibited many of his later works to George IV. at 
Windsor. In September of the same year he proceeded 
to Berlin, where he painted portraits of the King of 
Prussia and the Duke of Cumberland. On his way from 
that city to St. Petersburg, he caught a severe cold ; 
and in the spring of 1829, after accompanying the Em- 
peror Nicholas to Warsaw, and there painting the por- 



CH. IX.] DAWE BIGG 849 

trait of the Grand Duke Constantino, he proceeded by 
medical advice to the sulphur baths of Aix-la-Chapelle. 
In August 1829, he returned to England, but he gra- 
dually sunk, and expired on the 15th of October fol- 
lowing, at the house of his brother-in-law, Mr. Wright 
the engraver. On the 27th of October he was buried by 
the side of Fuseli in the crypt of St. Paul's ; his funeral 
was attended by the President and other members of the 
Eoyal Academy, and by the Eussian Embassy in London. 
He was a member of the Imperial Academy of Arts at 
St. Petersburg, and of the Academies of Stockholm and 
Florence. 

From his constant employment, his abstemious habits, 
and by a selfishness and want of generosity by which he 
was unhappily distinguished, he amassed a considerable 
fortune. But for some unprofessional speculations in 
which he was engaged, his property (which was sworn at 
Doctors' Commons under 25,000) would have been much 
greater. He was singularly favoured in being able not 
only to hand down the memorials of his skih 1 in connexion 
with the important events of his time, but also in being 
permitted to establish the fame of English art over the 
whole of the north of Europe. But for this, it is ques- 
tionable whether his productions in themselves would have 
raised him to a very high position as a portrait painter, 
for although he produced good likenesses as to the features, 
his portraits are not expressive of the character of his 
sitters. But there can be little doubt that if he had 
followed the branch of the art to which he devoted his 
talent early in life, he would have ranked among the best 
historical painters of his time. 

WILLIAM EADMORE BIGG, E.A., was born in January, 
1755, and was admitted as a student at the Eoyal Academy 
in 1778 : he became an Associate in 1787, and a Eoyal 
Academician in 1814. He was an intimate friend of Sir 
J. Eeynolds, and through a long life the amenity of his 



350 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. IX. 

manners endeared him to a numerous acquaintance. The 
subjects of his pencil were mostly of a domestic nature, 
appealing strongly to the sympathies. In all of them, 
benevolence, or the tender feelings either of parental affec- 
tion or rustic society, were forcibly portrayed. His ' Ship- 
wrecked Sailor-boy,' ' Boys relieving a Blind Man,' ' Black 
Monday,' and other similar subjects, have been engraved, 
and were very popular both in this country and on the 
Continent. He died in Great Eussell Street, Bloomsbury, 
on the 6th of February, 1828. 

Sir HENEY EAEBUEN, E.A., the son of a manufacturer, 
was born at Stockbridge, Edinburgh on March 4th, 1756. 
Having lost his parents when only six years old, he was 
placed in " Heriot's wark," the Christ's Hospital School 
of Scotland. At fifteen he was apprenticed by an elder 
brother to a goldsmith. During the time of his articles, he 
painted miniatures, which were executed in such a tasteful 
manner as to excite attention, and soon became in general 
demand. His master, although finding his talent for 
art destructive of his services as an apprentice, kindly 
encouraged his tastes, and introduced him to a portrait 
painter of repute in Edinburgh, named David Martin. 
By the aid of this artist, he made rapid progress, pur- 
chased the remainder of his apprenticeship, and devoted 
himself exclusively to miniature painting. He had re- 
ceived no preliminary instruction, however, and had many 
difficulties to contend with ; but as his knowledge of art 
increased, he overcame by perseverance all obstacles, 
having now the advantage of studying the works of a 
professed painter. Subsequently, when studying oil- 
painting, he obtained access to collections of pictures, 
which opened to his mind many beauties in art beyond 
those he had hitherto known. In 1779 he made an 
advantageous marriage, and soon afterwards came to 
London, where he was much noticed by Eeynolds, who 
advised him to visit Italy, and offered him pecuniary 



Cn.IX.] SIR H. RAEBURN 351 

assistance and letters of introduction to persons there. 
He acted upon this advice, and remained in Eome and 
other parts of Italy about three years. At Eome he 
seems to have profited more by the advice of Byers, 
a dealer in pictures and antiquities, than by any artists 
whose acquaintance he made there. In 1787 he re- 
turned, and established himself in Edinburgh, where in a 
short time he became the chief portrait painter, and 
justified the envious fears of Martin, who had dreaded his 
rivalry and abruptly terminated his acquaintance with 
him some years before. He was elected President of the 
Eoyal Society of Edinburgh, and was chosen a member 
of the Imperial Academy of Florence, and of the South 
Carolina and New York Academies. 

In 1812 he became an Associate, and in 1815 a Eoyal 
Academician. He now again proposed to remove to 
London, but was dissuaded from doing so by Lawrence, 
who advised him to content himself with his supremacy 
in Scotland, where he could reckon the greater number 
of the distinguished men of his country either among his 
friends or sitters. His portraits of the mountain chiefs 
the Macdonald, Mackenzie, Campbell, Bruce, Hay, 
Scott, Duff, Gordon, Douglas, Hamilton, and others 
attest the fulness of his practice. In 1821 he presented 
a picture of ' A Boy and Eabbit ' to the Academy as his 
diploma work. On the visit of George IV. to Scotland, 
in 1822, Eaeburn was knighted at Hopetoun House, 
and shortly afterwards received the appointment of por- 
trait painter to the King for Scotland, an honour he did 
not long enjoy, as he died at his house near Edinburgh, 
on the 8th of July, 1823, aged 67. 

Eaeburn's style was free and bold, his drawing ex- 
tremely correct, his colouring rich, deep, and harmonious. 
The heads of his figures are always kept prominent and 
distinct, and the accessories, whether drapery, furniture, or 
landscape, always appropriate, and though carefully exe- 
cuted, never made too conspicuous, or allowed to obtrude 



352 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. IX. 

upon the eye. The fidelity of his portraits may be attri- 
buted, in part, to his habit of never giving a painting a 
single touch from memory or conjecture, but always with 
his sitter before him. But while he could represent with 
great force and truth men of intellect and genius, he 
could not realise those delicate conceptions of women of 
fashion which Lawrence acquired. Among his chief 
portraits may be mentioned those of Sir W. Scott, Lord 
Eldon, James Watt, Henry Mackenzie, John Kennie, and 
Sir F. Chantrey. His full-length pictures of the Earl of 
Hopetoun, Sir D. Baird, Lord F. Campbell, and other 
Scottish celebrities, are admirable specimens of portrait 
painting. He was also a patron of the arts ; and his 
gallery and study were alike open to assist his younger 
brethren who sought his advice. 

EDWARD BIRD, E.A., was born at Wolverhampton, on 
the 12th of April, 1772. His father was a clothier, and 
gave his son a fair education. From very early childhood 
young Bird displayed a strong desire to sketch figures 
upon the walls and furniture. When still a boy his eldest 
sister bought him a box of colours ; and at the age of four- 
teen he painted from Miss Lee's " Eecess " the imaginary 
interview between the Earl of Leicester and the daughter 
of Mary Queen of Scots. As his love of painting was 
not to be repressed, his father apprenticed him to Messrs. 
Jones and Taylor, tin and japan ware manufacturers, at a 
place called " The Hall," at Wolverhampton, that he might 
ornament and embellish tea-trays, &c. ; and he soon ex- 
celled all the workmen there in that art. But it was 
monotonous and mechanical work ; and at the conclusion 
of his indentures, Bird set up as a drawing-master at 
Bristol, and resolved to take a higher position as an artist. 
He had meanwhile improved his knowledge of the nature 
and use of colours, had studied the human form, and made 
many sketches of natural and domestic scenes ; and now he 
improved himself in the knowledge of art by teaching others. 



CH. IX.] EDWARD BIRD _ 353 

In 1807, when lie had by patient self-discipline become 
more able to draw to his own satisfaction, he showed 
some of his works to an artist of taste, who advised him 
to exhibit them at Bath. They were much admired, and 
sold for thirty guineas each, whereas Bird had originally 
marked them at ten guineas. Some very popular works 
succeeded these ' Good News,' ' Choristers Rehearsing ' 
(bought by William IV.), and ' The Will,' purchased by 
the Marquis of Hastings. The self-taught artist thus 
gained rapid distinction ; his pictures were sought for, 
and purchased by eminent collectors ; and in 1812 he 
was elected an Associate, and in 1815 a Eoyal Acade- 
mician. 

Still greater efforts were soon to be attended by 
further success. His next work was a historical compo- 
sition representing the results of the Battle of Chevy 
Chase, which he treated in the spirit of the fine old 
ballad, and the original sketch of which he presented to 
Sir Walter Scott. The finished picture was bought for 300 
guineas by the Marquis of Stafford. The same nobleman 
purchased his next picture, ' The Death of Eli,' for 500 
guineas, to which the British Institution added their pre- 
mium of 200 guineas, as a testimony of their admiration 
of its excellence. But it had unfortunately been com- 
missioned as a speculation by three merchants of Bristol, 
who paid Bird 100 each for it so that all this added 
wealth became theirs, and not his. So pleased were 
they with their profits, that they offered him another 
commission, but he very wisely declined it. The citizens 
of Bristol, however, were always proud of one who had 
begun his career as an artist among them. He went to 
his native town in 1811, and returned to London the 
next year, occupying his pencil with subjects more within 
his reach than history those natural and touching re- 
presentations of home and social life in which he so 
much excelled such as ' The Blacksmith's Shop,' ' The 
Country Auction,' 'The Gipsy Boy,' 'The Young Ke- 

VOL. i. A A 



354 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. IX. 

emit,' ' The Baffle for the Watch ' (in the Vernon Gallery), 
4 The Game at Put,' ' Meg Merrilies,' &c. In 1813, he was 
introduced to the Princess Charlotte, who appointed him her 
painter, on which occasion he presented her Boyal High- 
ness with ' The Surrender of Calais,' one of his favourite 
pictures. After her untimely end, and the artist's de- 
cease, his widow applied to Prince Leopold, to lend this 
work for exhibition with others by him, which he readily 
consented to do, and gave a donation of 100 towards 
the expenses. 

Bird's later works were in the lofty style which he was 
so ambitious to attain, but for which he had not sufficient 
imagination or elevated conception. In this style he pro- 
duced c The Fortitude of Job,' ' The Death of Sapphira,' 
' The Crucifixion,' ' The Burning of Eidley and Latimer,' 
and 'The Embarkation of Louis XVIII. for France.' 
The last was a mere pageant, but required him to obtain 
portraits of many persons of rank, which involved greater 
trouble and difficulty than he was able to bear, and he 
sunk in making the attempt. The picture was never 
finished; for he died on 2nd November, 1819, suffering 
greatly from disappointment in respect to this work, and 
from domestic affliction, in the recent loss of two of his 
children. He was buried in the cloisters of Bristol 
Cathedral, three hundred citizens of Bristol following him 
to the grave. A simple tablet to his memory was after- 
wards placed in the Cathedral by his daughter. 

He was a kind-hearted, generous man, loving truth 
and regularity in his home, and animated and cheerful 
in company, until just before he died, when he became 
dejected from vexation and disappointment. As a painter 
he was peculiarly happy in the treatment of his subjects. 
He had great power in seizing character (which he studied 
from the life, whenever he met with it, often sketching a 
passer-by in the crowded streets), in furnishing illustrative 
incidents, and in the employment of episodes suitable to 
his subjects although there is, perhaps, little depth of 



CH. IX.] WILLIAM MULREADY 355 

thought in anything he produced. To the last he ne- 
glected to acquire a perfect knowledge of perspective, and 
was deficient in colour ; but his genre paintings will 
always be admired, when his historical compositions are 
no longer remembered. 

WILLIAM MULREADY, E.A., now a venerable member of 
the Eoyal Academy, was born at Ennis, in Ireland, 4- 
1786. He came to England with his parents at a very 
early age ; and some of his boyish sketches shown to 
Banks, the sculptor, elicited his high praise and encourage- 
ment. In his fifteenth year he became a student at the 
Eoyal Academy, and made very satisfactory progress; 
he at first essayed to follow the classic and high historic 
style, choosing such subjects as 'Polyphemus and Ulysses,' 
' Caliban and Trinculo,' ' The disobedient Prophet,' &c., 
until he found his deficiency in technical skill and know- 
ledge for such attempts, and resolutely applied himself to 
the study of the best Dutch painters, and made sketches 
in Kensington gravel-pits, and from other common every- 
day sources. These labours produced their fruits even in 
his early pictures, which with all their immaturity of 
thought, uncertainty of touch, and general incomplete- 
ness, showed a true feeling for the simplicity of nature, 
for truth of colour, and breadth of effect, qualities dis- 
played in all their force and vigour in his later works. 
Indeed, in his earliest productions there is a depth and 
power which is only found in the works of others after a 
lifetime of severe study. In 1806 he exhibited 'A 
Cottage ' and St. Peter's Well in the Vestry of York 
Minster;' and in the next year 'A View in St. Alban's.' 
In 1808 ' Old Houses in Lambeth,' and * A Carpenter's 
Shop and Kitchen,' in the same style, and ' The Battle,' 
his first figure picture. The next few years snowed 
marked progress in the same effective style. 'A Eoad- 
side Inn,' ' Horses Baiting,' ' The Barber's Shop,' and 
'Punch ' (painted in 1812), were produced in succession. 

A A 2 



356 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [Cn. IX. 

' Boys Fishing ' (1813), and ' Idle Boys' (1815), secured 
his election as an Associate in November 1815. 'The 
Fight Interrupted ' was his next work ; and in February 
1816, he became a Koyal Academician a rare instance 
of an artist attaining both honours in the Academy within 
a few months. 

Thus elevated to a high position in his profession, he 
still pursued with equal painstaking the course of careful 
study by which he had attained to fame. His love of 
colour was early shown, and the same style pervades all 
his works the only difference between the earliest and the 
latest being that of progress. No laxity or feebleness of 
manner characterises any of his later productions, in 
which he sometimes follows the pathetic and sentimental, 
but more frequently the humorous and grotesque. His 
works, since he obtained the rank of Koyal Academi- 
cian, are well known by engravings, and many of them 
are public property, by the gifts of Mr. Vernon and Mr. 
Sheepshanks. 'Lending a Bite,' painted in 1819, was 
bought by Earl Grey; 'The Wolf and the Lamb,' ex- 
hibited in 1820, became the property of George IV. 
' The Careless Messenger' was exhibited in 1821 ; ' The 
Convalescent' (one of his first efforts in a more poetic 
style), in 1822 ; ' The Widow,' in 1824 ; ' The Origin of 
a Painter,' in 1826 ; 'The Cannon,' in 1827, bought by 
Sir Eobert Peel ; and ' The Interior of an English Cot- 
tage,' in 1828, purchased by George IV. These were 
followed successively by many admirable works, among 
which were ' Giving a Bite,' ' The Pinch of the Ear,' 
' Open your Eyes and shut your Mouth,' ' The Seven 
Ages,' ' The Sonnet,' ' First Love,' ' The Artist's Study,' 
' Train up a Child in the Way he should go,' &c., many 
of which are now at South Kensington. In 1840 Mul- 
ready designed twenty illustrations for a new edition of 
Goldsmith's "Vicar of Wakefield," published by Van 
Voorst. These were so exquisitely beautiful that he was 
beset with commissions to paint them as pictures. Ac- 



CH. IX.] WILLIAM MULREADY 357 

cordingly, in 1843, he painted 'The Whistonian Contro- 
versy ' for Mr. Baring ; and ' Burchell and Sophia,' and '^fa 
' Choosing the Wedding-Gown ' for Mr. Sheepshanks. /<*, A 
Happily the nation possesses some of his best works 
' The Last in,' ' Fair-Time,' ' Crossing the Ford,' the gift 
of Mr. Vernon, and several admirable pictures and draw- 
ings presented by Mr. Sheepshanks. 

In 1848 the Society of Arts commenced a series of 
exhibitions of " the pictures of some one living artist, his 
studies and sketches, and engravings from his works ; " 
and those of Mulready were chosen for the first display. A 
hundred of his paintings, and one hundred and eight 
sketches, with many of those inimitable studies from the 
life, in black and red chalk, finished with all the nicety of 
engraving, by which in early life he laboured to acquire 
the perfection of correctness in drawing were thus 
gathered together, and proved a great triumph, as display- 
ing Mulready's mastery over his art. Few could have borne 
such an ordeal as that of ranging together before the public 
eye the work of forty-three years ; but in his case it showed 
how patient labour and study had led him on to growing 
refinement in taste, delicacy, and grace in expression, and 
increasing humour, mingled with a pathetic tenderness, 
which only the poetical conception of a mind full of pure 
and lofty susceptibilities could conceive, and the power of 
a master hand in art could depict. 

Since this gathering together of his previous labours, 
Mulready has exhibited few pictures, the last being 
' Blackheath Park,' in 1852. He never sought to pro- 
duce quantity, but to attain to excellence, although a 
large number of works have proceeded from his delicate 
and truthful pencil, all rare in originality of subject and 
treatment, and in careful execution. He is still full of 
energy and strength, and takes an active interest in the 
Schools and the affairs of the Royal Academy, and in the 
profession of which he is so distinguished an ornament. 
It was on his proposition that the privilege of '* varnish- 



358 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [Co. IX. 

ing days " was discontinued, in order that all pictures 
exhibited at the Academy might be put on an equality, 
whether the works of its members or of others. 

ALFRED EDWARD CHALON, E.A., was born at Geneva 
in 1780, and was descended from a French Protestant 
family who had settled there after the revocation of the 
edict of Nantes. In his early youth the family removed 
to London, and his father obtained an appointment as 
Professor of French at the Eoyal Military College at 
Sandhurst. His sons, Alfred and John, were first engaged 
in mercantile pursuits ; but having a great taste for art, 
they succeeded in founding " The Sketching Club," which 
at first consisted of artists and amateurs, and which, 
during the forty years of its existence, numbered Leslie, 
Stanlield, Uwins, Cristall, and others among its members. 
Alfred Chalon's reputation rests entirely upon the por- 
traits, chiefly in water-colours, which during many years 
hung on the walls of the Eoyal Academy. They were 
chiefly of aristocratic ladies, slight and sketchy, brightly 
coloured, and somewhat mannered in their execution, but 
sufficiently graceful, effective, and pleasing to render the 
artist popular, especially as a painter of portraits of ladies 
of fashion. But, although this was the style of the 
larger number of the works which he exhibited during 
many successive years at the Academy, he also painted 
occasionally in oils, and chose subjects of a more ambi- 
tious nature. Among these were ' Hunt the Slipper ' 
(1831), ' Samson and Delilah' (1837), ' Scene from " Le 
Diable Boiteux " ' (1840), 'The Farewell' (1841), 'John 
Knox reproving the Ladies of Queen Mary's Court,' and 
4 Christ mocked by Herod ' (1844), ' A Madonna ' (1845), 
'Serena' (1847), 'The Seasons' (1851), and 'Sophia 
Western' (1857). In all of these his colouring and 
grouping was effective ; but while forming attractive 
pictures by their character and brilliancy, they scarcely 
pretended to attain the ideal of historical compositions. 



CH. IX.] A. E. CHALON 359 

He became a student at the Eoyal Academy in 1797, 
was elected an Associate in 1812, and a Eoyal Academi- 
cian in 1816, when the fame of his free and sparkling 
pencil was at its height. He was a member of the Society 
of Arts of Geneva, and was latterly appointed to the 
office of Portrait Painter in Water-Colours to her 
Majesty. He made a very admirable portrait of the 
Queen, in water-colours, soon after her accession, which 
has been engraved on a large scale, and was exhibited at 
the Paris Exhibition, in 1855. He continued to draw 
and to exhibit to the end of his long life, nor was there 
much apparent decline in his powers. In 1855, shortly 
after the death of John Chalon, a collection of the works 
of the two brothers was made at the Society of Arts, but 
scarcely attracted the public attention it deserved. Alfred 
Chalon died in his 80th year, at his residence.^Campden 
Hill, Kensington, on the 3rd of October, 1860, and was 
buried in Highgate Cemetery. He left behind him a 
large collection of sketches and drawings, which he offered 
to present to the parish of Hampstead, on the condition 
of a suitable building and a curator being found for the 
reception and care of them. The offer was not accepted, 
however, and they were subsequently dispersed by auction. 
Both he and his brother John were intimate friends of 
C. E. Leslie, who spoke highly of their kindly qualities 
as private companions, and said that the affection of the 
two brothers was the strongest he ever witnessed between 
relations. He formed a high opinion of their powers as 
artists, stating that he always felt himself in a school of 
art when in their house, and that he considered Alfred 
Chalon as long holding the first place among the painters 
of water-colours in his day. 

JOHN JACKSOX, E.A., was born at Lastingham, in York- 
shire, on the 31st of May, 1778. His father was a tailor 
in the village, and brought up his son to the same trade. 
He had seen the pictures at Castle Howard, which 



360 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. IX. 

awakened a love of painting in his heart, and a dislike to 
the business in which he was engaged ; and by the kind- 
ness of the Earl of Carlisle, he was permitted to study 
the works of the great masters in his lordship's possession. 
He had previously received some instruction in drawing 
from the schoolmaster of his native village, to whom he 
had shown some of the heads he had sketched when a 
mere boy. This worthy man showed a copy he made of 
one of Reynolds's pictures (the portrait of the father of 
George Colman), crude as it was, and painted with colours 
obtained from the store of a house-painter, to Lord 
Mulgrave, who gave the young aspirant proper materials, 
and encouraged him to improve by renewed efforts. He 
now read books on painting, compared nature with the re- 
presentations of it in the works of the painters he had seen, 
and studied diligently the method by which they depicted 
what they saw. He copied Carracci's picture of the ' Three 
Marys,' at Castle Howard, in his nineteenth year, with 
such ability that the unexpired portion of his apprentice- 
ship to his father was purchased by Lord Mulgrave and 
Sir George Beaumont, that he might follow art as a pro- 
fession. The latter behaved with the greatest kindness 
and liberality to him ; he gave him an allowance of 
50 a year, and an apartment in his town house, that 
he might be able to study at the Eoyal Academy, where 
he became, in 1805, a diligent student. This was a noble 
and generous act, and one by which Jackson profited 
greatly ; for he met at his patron's house almost all the 
men of taste and genius of the time, and thus made up 
for all that was defective in his early education and 
training. 

Soon after he took up his abode in London, he was 
employed in copying portraits to be engraved in CadelTs 
series of portraits of illustrious personages, which he 
executed with great truthfulness. He first obtained a 
name by his blacklead pencil and water-colour portraits, 
but it was some years before he took his place among the 



CH. IX. J JOHN JACKSON 861 

principal portrait-painters in oils. His first exhibited 
picture was a portrait of Master H. Eobinson, in 1804 ; 
in 1806 he exhibited portraits of Lady Mulgrave and the 
Hon. Mrs. Phipps ; the next year he painted the Marquis 
of Huntly, Lady Mary Fitzgerald, and others. In 1809 
he removed from the Haymarket to 54 Great Marlborough 
Street, and from that time till 1815, when he became an 
Associate of the Eoyal Academy, his reputation steadily 
increased. In this period he exhibited more than thirty 
portraits, and among them several of members of the 
Academy. He was created an E.A. in 1817, and was 
also elected a Member of the Academy of St. Luke, at 
Eome. A portrait of Canova, painted at Eome, while on 
a visit to Italy, in company with, and for Sir F. Chantrey, 
in 1819, excited great attention ; but his best work, a 
masterpiece of art, is his portrait of John Flaxman, one 
of the thirteen portraits of Academicians above referred 
to. Lord Dover gave Jackson the commission for this 
picture, and was a constant friend and patron of the 
artist. Lawrence greatly admired this portrait, saying 
that it was " a great achievement of the English School, 
and a picture of which Vandyke might have felt proud to 
own himself the author." 

Jackson worked with great rapidity, and many illustra- 
tions of it are on record. Passavant says he copied, 
while at Eome, Titian's picture of ' Divine Love ' in three 
days, which would have occupied most artists a month ; 
and that for a wager he once finished five gentlemen's 
portraits in a single summer's day, and received twenty-five 
guineas for each of them. Between 1804 and 1830 he 
exhibited nearly 150 pictures at the Academy, and painted 
many more, and this during the period when Lawrence, 
Beechey, Owen, Phillips, and other illustrious contem- 
poraries were in the height of their popularity. His style 
was masculine, characteristic, and true, without flattery. 
His colouring was clear and rich, and he sometimes 
attained that low-toned brightness so much admired in 



362 HISTORY OF THE EOYAL ACADEMY [On. IX. 

Sir J. Eeynolds's works ; but his pictures wanted the 
delicacy and grace of those of Lawrence. His portrait 
of Lady Dover, however, is a lovely work, both for its 
beauty in drawing and splendid colouring, and for the 
singular grace of manner and delicacy of touch which 
pervade the whole. A copy he made of the Correggio 
at Apsley House, ' Christ in the Garden,' he presented to 
the church of his native place, Lastingham, with 50, to 
improve the situation in which it was to be placed. He 
paid an annual visit to this village for many years after 
he came to London. He was twice married ; by his first 
wife he had a daughter, and by his second (the daughter 
of James Ward, E.A.) he had three children. 

Although he had a large income from his profession, he 
seems to have spent it in his lifetime, for he, unfortunately, 
left no provision for his family. Lord Dover, who knew 
him intimately, said " In private he could not but be 
beloved for his singleness of heart, and his simplicity and 
truth of mind ; in all the relations, too, of domestic life, 
he was exemplary, which is not surprising when we reflect 
that his actions were regulated by a fervent sense of 
religion." Thus he lived, esteemed by his numerous 
friends, and beloved by his family, until his death, which 
occurred at his house at St. John's Wood, on the 1st of 
June, 1831, caused by having taken cold when attending 
the funeral of Lord Mulgrave. He was buried at St. 
John's Wood Chapel. His portraits of himself, the late 
Earl Grey, Sir John Soane, Eev. W. H. Carr, and of Miss 
Stephens (afterwards Countess of Essex), are in the 
National Collections. 

WILLIAM HILTON, E.A., was born at Lincoln, on the 
3rd of June, 1786. He received lessons from his father, 
who was a portrait painter, and became, in 1800, a pupil 
of John Eaphael Smith, the crayon painter and mezzotinto- 
engraver. He entered the schools of the Eoyal Academy 
in 1806, and studied anatomy, that he might become a 



CH. IX.] WILLIAM HILTON 363 

more complete master of the form of the human figure. 
In 1803, while still very young, he sent a clever picture 
to the exhibition, entitled 'Banditti;' in 1804, ' Hector 
re-inspired by Apollo;' and in 1806, and the next few 
years, ' Cephalus and Procris,' ' Venus carrying the 
wounded ^Eneas,' ' Ulysses and Calypso,' the ' Good 
Samaritan,' 'John of Gaunt reproving Eichard II.,' 'Christ 
restoring Sight to the Blind,' 'Mary anointing the Feet 
of Jesus,' and the ' Eaising of Lazarus.' These works 
showed, not only his desire to restore the high historic 
style of painting, but that he possessed a truly poetic 
feeling ; and that in the treatment of the subjects he chose, 
he selected those only in which he could realise his own 
high and noble conceptions, and introduce the most 
beautiful human forms. 

Unhappily, neither his style nor the subjects of his 
pictures were popular, and very many of the works he 
painted during his lifetime remained in his possession till 
his death. Among these were the ' Angel releasing St. 
Peter from Prison ' and ' Sir Calepine rescuing Serena,' 
both exhibited in 1831. The latter was purchased from 
his executors by an association of gentlemen, chiefly 
artists, for 500 guineas, and presented to the National 
Collection, where are also to be seen three other capital 
works, ' Edith and the Monks searching for the Body of 
Harold,' ' Cupid disarmed,' and ' Eebecca with Abraham's 
Servant at the Well,' the gift of Mr. Vernon. Other 
pictures left on his hands were 'Comus,' 'Amphitrite,' the 
' Murder of the Innocents,' the last exhibited by him 
(in 1838), and 'Eizpah watching the dead Bodies of 
Saul's Sons,' which was left unfinished at his death. 

He became an Associate of the Eoyal Academy in 1813, 
the year in which he painted ' Miranda and Ferdinand 
bearing a Log.' In 1818 he returned to England from 
Home (which he had visited in company with T. Phillips, 
E.A.), and exhibited ' The Eape of Europa,' an admirable 
work. In the next year he became a Eoyal Academician, 



364 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. IX. 

and presented as his diploma work ' The Eape of Ganny- 
mede,' exhibited in that year. Among his works of this 
period were ' Venus surprising Diana,' ' Comus with the 
Lady in the enchanted Chair,' ' Love taught by the 
Graces,' and ' Christ crowned with Thorns,' the last- 
named was bought by the British Institution in 1825. 
On the death of Fuseli in 1827, he succeeded him as 
Keeper of the Eoyal Academy, in which position his 
singularly mild and amiable manner won the regard of 
the young students, who marked their high sense of his 
services by presenting him with a valuable piece of 
plate. Notwithstanding his great abilities, he would 
scarcely have escaped suffering from poverty but for the 
assistance the emoluments of this appointment afforded 
him. When he fell into ill-health, towards the close of 
the year 1836, the Eoyal Academy offered to grant him 
leave of absence from his duties, and 50 to enable him 
to obtain rest and change of air, but he declined both. 

As a historical painter, he excelled both in design and 
colouring ; his pictures abound with beautiful forms and 
graceful action. His taste in composition was refined, his 
colouring harmonious and rich ; his drawing was accurate, 
and his effects of light and shade true and effective : but 
his works were of too high a character to become gene- 
rally popular, and the encouragement afforded him by a 
few judicious collectors, was far from adequate to his need 
or his merits. One of his most poetical conceptions was 
' Nature blowing Bubbles for her Children ' (1821), pur- 
chased by the late Sir J. Swinburne. Several of his 
sacred subjects form altar-pieces of churches, one ' The 
raising of Lazarus' --he presented to the church of 
Newark, of which town his father was a native, as a mark 
of respect to his memory. His fancy subjects are gene- 
rally from classic story, or from Milton and Spenser, his 
favourite authors. His mythological pictures are always 
intelligible and easy to be understood, and the fascinating 
style in which he rendered them, as in those of ' Cupid 



CH. IX.] HILTON COLLINS 366 

Armed ' and ' Disarmed,' make them the most pleasing of 
his works. Very few of his pictures have been engraved, 
one ' Una entering the Cave of Corecea ' was the 
Art-Union subscription plate for 1842. Another, 'The 
Eape of Europa,' painted for the late Earl of Egremont, 
was engraved by Charles Heath ; and those in the Vernon 
Gallery, and some others, have been published in the 
Art-Journal. He died at the house of his brother-in-law, 
P. Dewint, in Upper Gower Street, London, on the 30th ( 
of December, 1839, in his 54th year. A large number of _ 
his works were collected for exhibition at the British 
Institution in 1840. 

WILLIAM COLLINS, E.A., was the son of a painter and 
picture-cleaner, a native of Wicklow, and author, among 
many other publications, of a novel entitled " Memoirs of 
a Picture," a poem on the Slave Trade, and a Life of 
George Morland. His mother was a Scottish lady from 
the vicinity of Edinburgh, and gave birth to her distin- 
guished son in Great Titchfield Street, London, on the 
18th of September, 1788. When a boy, his father's 
friend, George Morland, allowed him to stand beside him 
while he was painting, and thus cherished his natural 
taste for art, and improved his skill in drawing. In 1807 
he entered, at the same time with Etty, the schools of the 
Eoyal Academy, and sent two small views on Millbank to 
the exhibition. In 1809 he carried off the silver medal 
for a drawing from the life, and in that year sent two 
more pictures to the exhibition : they were ' Boys at 
Breakfast,' and ' Boys with a Bird's Nest.' Every sub- 
sequent year he produced other pictures in the same style, 
which were exhibited at the Eoyal Academy or the 
British Institution. 

In 1812 he lost his father, who died in pecuniary diffi- 
culties, and his increased responsibilities in having to 
support his mother and brother, only led to more earnest 
efforts. In this year he painted ' The Sale of the Pet 



366 HISTORY OF THE EOYAL ACADEMY [On. IX. 

Lamb,' perhaps suggested by the disposal of all the house- 
hold property of his home to pay off his father's debts. 
For some time he painted portraits to increase the family 
income, but groups of children engaged in their sports, 
attracted his chief attention. Thus in 1814 he painted 
' Bird-Catchers,' one of the best of his early works, now 
in the Marquis of Lansdowne's collection at Bowood. 
Until this time he continued his studies at the Eoyal 
Academy, but was then elected an Associate, and began 
to enlarge the range of his subjects, commencing a series 
of pictures connected with the haunts and habits of 
fishermen on the coast. The first of these was ' Shrimp- 
Boys at Cromer,' exhibited in 1816. Another, 'A Scene 
on the Coast of Norfolk,' (1818), is now in Sir Eobert 
Peel's collection at Dray ton Manor. In 1820 he was 
elected E.A., and presented as his diploma picture 'The 
Young Anglers.' For the next sixteen years he con- 
tinued without intermission to exhibit from three to five 
pictures of this class annually, and found ready patrons 
for them, although at only moderate prices. Sir Eobert. 
Peel secured ' The Cherry Sellers,' ' Fishermen getting 
out their Nets,' 'A Frost Scene,' and others. During 
this period he painted also those charming works ' Happy 
as a King,' ' Leaving Home,' and ' Sunday.' 

The years 1837 and 1838 were spent on the Continent. 
It was during his stay in Italy that he caught a severe ill- 
ness, by imprudently sketching in the noon-day sun, which 
laid the foundation of the disease of which he died. In 
one of his letters to Wilkie he expresses his admiration of 
the EafTaeU.es in the Vatican, and the frescoes of Michael 
Angelo, which, he says, " so far from disappointing me, 
surpassed not only all I have ever seen, but ah 1 I had ever 
conceived of these truly inspired men." At the same 
time Collins was studying the living nature around him 

*/ O O 

in the peasantry of Italy, and the surprise of the visi- 
tors to the exhibition of 1839 was great at seeing 
' Poor Travellers at a Capuchin Convent near Vico,' 



CH. IX.] WILLIAM COLLINS 367 

' Young Lazzaroni playing,' and ' A Scene near Subiaco,' 
by the author of the familiar sea-side views on our own 
coast. Many similar works to these foUowed in subse- 
quent years, intermingled with others of a loftier character, 
chosen from religious subjects. Of these latter, ' Our 
Saviour with the Doctors,' was the first, painted in 1840, 
the year in which he visited Germany ; followed by ' The 
Two Disciples at Emmaus,' in 18 41, "'The Virgin and 
Child,' ' A Patriarch,' &c. With his increasing years he 
grew in deep and earnest piety, and sought to represent 
the themes on which his thoughts delighted to rest. 

He did not, however, desert the subjects by which he 
had acquired fame, and which he depicted with such a life- 
like truthfulness, for in 1842 he visited the Shetland 
Isles to gather fresh materials, and in that and subse- 
quent years he painted ' A Windy Day,' ' Cromer Sands,' 
' Shrimpers Hastening Home,' and in 1845 ' Meadfoot 
Bay.' This last was commenced at Torquay, where he 
went for health, having suffered for months previously 
from disease of the heart, which increased in its dis- 
tressing symptoms, although he did not lose his power 
of painting, or his energy in pursuing it to the end of 
his life. His last work, ' Early Morning,' painted under 
much bodily suffering and prostration of strength, is a 
noble picture, now in the possession of Mr. Gillott of 
Birmingham. Buskin says of this work, " I have never 
seen the oppression of sunlight in a clear, lurid, rainy 
atmosphere more perfectly or faithfully rendered." In- 
deed in all his works he exhibited the bright side of life 
and of nature, and in the contemplation of his pictures 
the mind finds true enjoyment. He died, after acute 
suffering, at his house No. 1 Devonport Street, Hyde 
Park Gardens, on the 17th of February, 1847, in his 59th 
year. He had previously lived for three years at No. 85 
Oxford Terrace. He was buried in the cemetery of the 
Church of St. Mary, Paddington, where a handsome 
monument, in the form of a cross, was erected to his 



368 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. IX. 

memory by his widow and sons. In 1840 he was 
appointed Librarian to the Eoyal Academy, but finding 
its duties more onerous than he could conscientiously 
discharge, he resigned the office in 1842. 

Collins' pictures are thoroughly English and natural. 
He studied the simple habits of country children, observed 
the characteristics of rural and coast scenery, and com- 
bined them together so artistically, that a purpose is evi- 
dent in every group, and an individuality in every scene 
he painted. There was a sunshine and gladness in all his 
scenes, the reflex of his own happy spirit, which even in 
the darkest hours of trouble maintained its serenity, and 
found comfort, as he tells us, " in looking upward." 
Form, colour, and distance were all carefully studied ; 
but with all this exactness of detail, there was the breadth 
and vigour of touch which showed that he had an eye 
for general effect, and a command over his materials 
which enabled him to charm the eye of every beholder 
of his pictures. Several are in the Vernon and Sheep- 
shanks Galleries 'The Shrimpers,' ' Happy as a King,' 
' The Stray Kitten,' ' Eustic Civility,' and some Italian 
scenes among them. All the best private collections in 
the country contain specimens of his skill. Among his 
patrons were George IV., the Duke of Newcastle, the 
Marquis of Lansdowne, the late Lord Liverpool, and Sir 
E. Peel, Sir J. F. Heathcote, and other able judges of art. 
In 1822 he married the daughter of Andrew Geddes, 
A.E.A., and sister of Mrs. Carpenter, the well-known por- 
trait painter, by whom he had two sons. The elder, 
William Wilkie Collins, wrote an excellent life of his 
father (two vols. 1848), and besides being the author of 
several popular works of fiction, is a constant contributor 
to the periodical literature of the present day ; the 
younger, C. A. Collins, is a painter of the Pre-Eaflaelite 
school. 

The private personal character of Collins is as honour- 
able to him as his position among English artists ; for 



CH. IX.] COLLINS COOPER 369 

those who knew him intimately describe him, " as gene- 
rous and encouraging to young talent ; he was always 
eager to accord praise neither jealousy nor envy ever 
gave the remotest taint to his character ; men of note in 
all professions were proud to be his associates, for he was 
fitted to take his place among the best of them his 
gracious manner and most gentlemanly bearing, no less 
than his cultivated understanding, exciting the esteem 
and respect of all with whom he came in contact, for no 
man was more thoroughly embued with the gentle and 

o / 

kindly yet manly attributes which excite affection." 

ABEAHAM COOPER, B.A., was born in September 1787, in 
Red Lion Street, Holborn, where his father was a tobac- 
conist, but not being successful he took an inn at Hollo- 
way, where, being unacquainted with the business, he 
lost his property, and was thus compelled to remove his 
son from school, in his thirteenth year, to make his way in 
the world. For some time he took part in the eques- 
trian pageants and mimic battles performed at Astley's 
under the direction of his uncle, Mr. Davis. Making 
sketches of horses, dogs, and ships, had occupied his 
leisure hours at school ; but it was not till his 22nd year 
that he made his first attempt at painting, prompted by 
his desire to possess a portrait of a horse named ' Frolic,' 
belonging to Mr. Henry Meux, of Ealing, which he had 
ridden and driven till it became a great favourite with 
him. He could not afford to employ an artist to paint a 
picture of the animal, but bought an introduction to oil 
painting, then (1809) recently published by Laurie and 
Whittle, and, after attentively studying it, made a picture 
of the horse far beyond his own expectations, and suffi- 
ciently excellent as a work of art to attract the admira- 
tion of the owner of the animal, who insisted on adding 
it to his collection, and who was afterwards a liberal 
patron of the artist. 

From this time, Cooper devoted himself exclusively 
VOL. i. B B 



370 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. IX 

and enthusiastically to his profession, and his first success 
led him to the especial study of animals. The spirited 
style, characteristic truthfulness, and refined taste which 
he displayed in his pictures of race-horses, led to his 
speedily obtaining extensive patronage from the first 
sportsmen of the day. His pictures of this kind are very 
numerous, and are found in the collections of the Dukes 
of Grafton, Bedford, and Marlborough, the Marquis of 
Stafford, Sir J. Swinburne, Colonel Udney, and others. 
At the outset of his career he had the satisfaction of seeing 
many of his works engraved in the " Sporting Magazine." 
In 1816 he was awarded a premium of 150 guineas 
by the British Institution for his picture of ' The Battle of 
Waterloo.' In 1817 he became an Associate, and in 
1820 a Eoyal Academician his fine picture of 'Marston 
Moor,' exhibited in the preceding year, having doubtless 
led to his attaining this honour. In 1812 he became a 
member of the Artists' Fund, and subsequently held the 
appointment of chairman to that institution for five years. 
For a long period he has been a constant and extensive 
contributor of pictures of groups of animals, battle scenes 
of olden times, the sports of the field, &c., to the exhibi- 
tions. Two small pictures painted by him in 1818, i A 
Donkey and Spaniel,' and 'A Grey Horse at a Stable Door,' 
are in the Sheepshanks' collection at South Kensington. 

The thirty-two painters who were added to the num- 
ber of Eoyal Academicians during West's presidentship, 
and whose career we have thus briefly traced, may be 
classified generaUy as five historical, twelve genre, eleven 
portrait, and four landscape ; but some of them pursued 
more than one of these branches of the art. 

Six SCULPTOKS were elected during the same period 
(1792-1820), these were, John Flaxman, in 1800; 
Charles Eossi, in 1802 ; Nathaniel Marchant, in 1809 ; 
Sir Eichard Westmacott, in 1811 ; William Theed, in 
1813 ; and Sir Francis Chantrey, in 1818. 



OH. IX.] JOHN FLAXMAN 371 

JOHN FLAXMAN, E.A., was born at York on the 6th June, 
1755, but was brought to London when not more than 
six months old. His father was a figure-moulder, and 
opened a shop first in New Street, Covent Garden, and 
afterwards in the Strand. It was in this humble studio 
that the future eminent sculptor received the first impres- 
sions of taste for art. A natural weakness of constitution, 
and a delicacy of health which continued for some years, 
compelled him to pursue solitary and sedentary amuse- 
ments, and he thus strengthened his naturally enthusiastic 
mind by study and thought. As a boy, he was unable to 
walk without crutches, and while sitting in his father's 
shop he acquired, in a desultory way, the habit of observ- 
ing and portraying the forms of the objects around him. 
He was so fortunate as to attract the notice of the Eev. 
Mr. Matthew, who occasionally visited his father's shop, 
observed the delicate boy sometimes reading Homer and 
sometimes modelling, took him into his house, and intro- 
duced him to his wife, a lady of taste and great accomplish- 
ments, who took great delight in making the interesting 
boy acquainted with the beauties of Homer and Virgil, 
while he would attempt to embody with his pencil such 
poetic images or parts of the narration as most caught 
his fancy. By these kind and judicious friends he was 
encouraged to study the original languages of the classic 
authors he loved, and though he was chiefly his own 
tutor, he made sufficient progress to enable him to read 
the master poets of antiquity, if not very critically, yet with 
tolerable readiness, to enter into their spirit, and to follow 
their conceptions. Evidence of this is afforded in his 
compositions after Homer and ^Eschylus. 

His first commission was received from Mr. Crutchley, 
of Sunninghill Park, for six classic designs executed in 
black chalk, the figures standing about two feet high. 
They were much commended by their owner ; and thus 
encouraged, Floxman sought admission, in 1769, when in 
his fifteenth year, as a student at the Royal Academy, and 

B n 2 



372 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [Cn. IX. 

for a considerable time afterwards supported himself by 
modelling for different persons, especially for the Wedg- 
woods. These works were exceedingly graceful, and are 
now eagerly sought for, although not esteemed as they 
deserved to be, at the time. In 1770 he exhibited his 
first work at the Academy, a figure of Neptune, in wax. 
After obtaining the student's silver medal, he competed 
for the gold medal with Engleheart, but was unsuccessful. 
Although he shed tears of disappointment, he was not 
discouraged, but continued to study and to labour with 
unabated energy ; and by a simple mode of life, found the 
small remuneration he obtained more than sufficient 
for his wants. Up to this time he had exhibited thirteen 
different works at the Academy, but all in plaster, as he 
had not yet ventured to work in marble. 

In the year 1782 he married Miss Ann Denman, left 
his father's house, and took one of his own at No. 27 
Wardour Street. When Sir Joshua Eeynolds heard of it, 
he is reported to have said, " So, Flaxman, I am told you 
are married ; if so, Sir, you are ruined for an artist." 
Happily, however, his future career fully disproved the 
President's prediction. Shortly afterwards he executed a 
monument of Collins, the poet, for Chichester Cathedral, 
and one of Mrs. Morley, for Gloucester Cathedral. In 
1787 he visited Italy, accompanied by his amiable and 
accomplished wife, to whom he had made known the 
President's lament on his marriage, and who had deter- 
mined to help and not to hinder him in his career as an 
artist. Their residence in Eome was in the Via Felice. 
There she was ever at his side, aiding him by her know- 
ledge, and advising him by her taste. They loved each 
other truly, read the same books, thought the same 
thoughts, and found peace and satisfaction only in each 
other's company. 

While at Eome, Flaxman designed, for Mrs. Hare 
Taylor, a series of thirty-nine subjects from the " Iliad," 
and thirty-four from the " Odyssey." For these composi- 



Cn. IX.] JOHN FLAXMAN 373 

tions, since so universally admired as displaying the intel- 
lectual power of art, he received the small sum of fifteen 
shillings each ; but he was well rewarded by the fame 
and the patronage they won for him. For the Countess 
Spencer he composed a series of thirty-six illustrations 
of " ^Eschylus," receiving a guinea for each ; for the 
Bishop of Deny he executed the group of ' Athamas ' for 
600, and is said to have lost money by the commission. 
For the accomplished Thomas Hope, he executed the 
beautiful group of ' Cephalus and Aurora ; ' for him he 
also produced the three series of sublime compositions 
from Dante, amounting to 109 subjects (receiving a guinea 
for each), viz., 38 from the " Inferno," 38 from the " Pur- 
gatorio," and 33 from the " Paradise." 

After a stay of seven years in Italy he returned to 
England, and took up his abode at No. 7 Buckingham 
Street, Fitzroy Square. Shortly afterwards he produced 
his noble monument to ' Lord Mansfield, seated between 
Wisdom and Justice,' for which he received 2500. On 
his wife's birthday, 2nd of October, 1796, he presented 
to her, as a tribute of affection, a book containing 
forty pen and pencil designs, with poetical descriptions 
depicting the progress of the Knight of the Blazing 
Cross, a Christian hero, conquering by faith, fortitude, 
and devotion. In early life he had sought the acquaint- 
ance of Stothard, and his usual present to his wife on her 
birthday was a small picture by that artist. In 1 7 97 he was 
unanimously elected an Associate of the Eoyal Academy. 
In January of that year a letter by him appeared in the 
" Gentleman's Magazine," addressed to the President and 
Council, in opposition to the proposal made at that time 
to remove from Eome the fine works of painting and 
sculpture to form a university at Paris where all 
nations might study them, in which he argued that as 
France did not appear to have any claim upon Eome for 
compensation, as good a plea might be urged with as 
much reason by any other country in Europe. A second 



374 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. IX. 

letter on the same subject subsequently appeared in the 
same periodical. 

In 1797 he exhibited his monument of the Oriental 
scholar, Sir William Jones, now at University College, 
Oxford ; and three bas-reliefs of subjects from the New 
Testament 'The Eaising of the Daughter of Jairus,' 
' Comfort and Help the Weak-hearted,' and ' Feed the 
Hungry.' These may be considered the commencement 
of a series of Scriptural compositions intended to show 
that the simple truths and precepts of the Gospel were 
fully capable of inspiring the sculptor, and supplying him 
with appropriate themes for his art. Of the same 
character are the reliefs for Sir F. Baring's family monu- 
ment in Micheldean Church, which express the ideas con- 
tained in the sentences " Thy will be done," " Thy kingdom 
come," and "Deliver us from evil." A monument to 
Mary Lushington, of Lewisham, Kent, is a beautiful illus- 
tration of the text " Blessed are they that mourn," 
representing a mother sorrowing for her daughter, and 
being comforted by an angel. His groups of ' Come ye 
Blessed,' ' Lead us not into Temptation,' l Charity,' and 
the monuments of the Countess Spencer, and Mrs. Tighe, 
the poetess, are, like many of his works, full of religious 
sentiment and fervour the outward expression of a feel- 
ing deeply rooted in his own heart. In more common 
subjects his conceptions were not so successful as in these 
lofty themes his monuments to Nelson and Howe, in St. 
Paul's Cathedral being far inferior to the works above 
referred to. His proposal to erect a colossal figure of 
Britannia, 200 feet high, to commemorate the victories of 
the British navy, which was to be placed on Greenwich 
Hill, was treated as a visionary and impracticable scheme, 
and no attempt was made to carry it into execution. 

In 1800 he was elected a Eoyal Academician, when he 
presented as his diploma work a marble group of ' Apollo 
and Marpessa,' fine in conception, but deficient in the 
delicacy and mechanism of the art, in which he never 



Cn. IX.] JOHN FLAXMAN 375 

greatly excelled. In 1809 he proposed to the Academy 
a plan for promoting and improving the taste for historical 
painting, and in 1810 he was appointed to fill the office of 
Professor of Sculpture, which was instituted in that year 
at the Eoyal Academy. In 1811 he commenced the 
delivery of his interesting and useful lectures on the 
subject. They were ten in number : English, Egyptian, 
and Grecian sculpture were treated of in three lectures ; 
science, beauty, composition, style, and drapery, in five 
more ; and ancient and modern art in the two conclud- 
ing ones of the series. On his first appearance as the new 
professor he was greeted with loud applause, but his sin- 
gular gravity of manner, and the calm and unimpassioned 
tone in which he read his discourses, made them a little 
heavy ; and those who contrasted them with the eloquent 
harangues of Fuseli, seemed to forget that the proper 
ami of such lectures is to instruct rather than to excite 
the students. Campbell said of these discourses, " It is 
fearfully difficult to be eloquent in teaching art. The 
floor of didactic language, constructed for the tread of 
sober ideas, is perilously shaken by the tramp of impas- 
sioned enthusiasm. Flaxman is all sobriety of style, and 
he is blamed for dryness and coldness. There is no such 
thing as pleasing everybody." Flaxman wrote, besides 
these lectures, several anonymous contributions to art- 
literature ; among these were a discourse on the genius 
and character of Banks, a critical description of Eomney's 
works for Hayley's life of the artist, and several articles 
for Bees' " Cyclopaedia." 

In 1818 he modelled the 'Shield of Achilles,' after- 
wards cast in silver gilt for George IV. At this period 
also he executed ' Psyche ' and ' The Archangel Michael 
and Satan,' the latter a work of the first order, whether 
we consider the grandeur of the subject, or the sublime 
conception with which it is rendered. Up to this period 
of his life, all had been prosperous and peaceful in the 
good man's life ; he had acquired fame and competence, 



376 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. IX. 

and possessed a happy home ; but in 1820 he suffered the 
sad affliction of the loss of his affectionate companion 
and wife, and thus a blank was created at his own fire- 
side which no outward prosperity could supply. Soon 
afterwards age and infirmity began to tell upon him, 
until he died, on the 7th December, 1826, at his house 
in Buckingham Street, Fitzroy Square. He had been 
able to continue his ordinary pursuits, although occa- 
sionally interrupted by sickness, till within a few days of 
his death. The last work upon which he was engaged 
was a bust of John P. Kenible. He was buried in the 
graveyard of St. Giles's in the Fields, in the Old St. 
Pancras Eoad, on the 15th of the same month, and w T as 
followed to the grave by the President and several mem- 
bers of the Eoyal Academy. The following inscription 
was placed on his tomb : " John Flaxman, E.A., Professor 
of Sculpture, whose mortal life was a constant prepara- 
tion for a blessed immortality : his angelic spirit returned 
to the Divine Giver on 7th December, 1826, in the 72nd 
year of his age." This is followed by another to the 
memory of his sister, who died in 1833, aged 65. The 
best portrait of him is that by Jackson ; it conveys a 
fine idea of his gentle yet firm expression, and of his 
broad and high forehead, so fuh 1 of majestic thought. 
There is a portrait of him by Eomney in the National Por- 
trait Gallery, and a statue by Watson in University CoUege. 

In his domestic life he was thoroughly happy ; he was 
mild and gentle to ah 1 , " the best master God ever made," 
as his workmen said ; generous in all his dealings, and 
never mean, though always frugal ; humble in his own 
spirit, simple in his dress and habits of life ; never 
gloomy, but always cheerful ; weak and fragile in out- 
ward frame, but large and strong in soul; enduring 
pain, but full of " meekness, gratitude, and faith." 

As a sculptor, his historical statues have been com- 
mended for their fine sentiment, but censured for a degree 
of roughness in execution. One of his best works of 



On. IX.] FLAXMAN ROSSI , 377 

this class, in addition to those we have already men- 
tioned, is the statue of Sir J. Eeynolds in St. Paul's. But 
his chief works were for the churches for so forcibly 
did he embody the poetical passages of the Bible in com- 
memorating the dead, that in monumental sculptures of 
this description he has never been excelled. These 
works are very numerous, and are found in the East and 
West Indies, and in Italy, as well as scattered over this 
country so widely did his fame extend. His designs 
and compositions might be numbered by thousands, and 
his genius is perhaps more remarkably developed in these 
drawings than in modelling and executing larger works. 

The property he left at his death, sworn at 4000, 
was bequeathed to his wife's younger sister, Miss Denman, 
who held possession of all the contents of his studio for 
twenty-five years, when, feeling that they might worthily 
be entrusted to the keeping of the Council of University 
College, she presented them to that institution, and they 
are now collected in the cupola of the College, which is 
called in consequence the Flaxman Hall, and contains 
about 140 working models and casts by one of the most 
poetic and elevated, as well as the most classic and re- 
fined of our English sculptors. In 1861 Miss Denman 
died, and the drawings and models remaining in her pos- 
session have recently been sold by auction. A proposal 
was made that they should be purchased by subscription, 
to enable the London University to augment their art- 
treasures in the Flaxman Gallery, and render them avail- 
able for public enjoyment and instruction. The late 
lamented Prince Consort and the Royal Academy headed 
the list of subscriptions for the purpose, but the amount 
required was not obtained. 

JOHN CHARLES FELIX Rossi, R.A., was born in 17G2, 
at Nottingham, where his father, a native of Sienna, prac- 
tised as a medical man, although he was not a licensed 
practitioner. At an early age he was apprenticed to a 



378 HISTORY OF TIIE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. IX. 

sculptor, named Luccatella, who employed him after his 
term of apprenticeship was completed as a journeyman, 
at eighteen shillings a week ; but while so engaged Eossi 
discovered that his own powers were at least equal to his 
master's, and he demanded higher wages. Although he 
obtained this advancement, he now felt a desire to 
try his own abilities in London, and in 1781 became 
a student at the Eoyal Academy, that he might qualify 
himself for a higher position as an artist. In November 
of that year he obtained the silver medal, and in 1784 
the gold medal, the work for which he gained the latter 
being a sculptured group, representing ' Venus conduct- 
ing Helen to Paris.' With this honour he also obtained 
the allowance of a travelling student awarded by the 
Academy, and went to Borne 'for three years in 1785. 

On his return to London, he employed himself on 
classical and monumental works, in a style at once manly 
and vigorous, but not remarkable for any special excel- 
lence. While at Eome he executed a ' Mercury ' in 
marble, and subsequently a recumbent figure of ' Eve ; ' 
' Edwin and Leonora,' ' Venus and Cupid,' ' Celadon and 
Amelia,' 'Musidora,' and other similar subjects. Sir 
Eobert Peel gave him a commission for a statue of the 
poet Thomson, and he was employed to execute a colossal 
figure of Britannia for the Exchange at Liverpool. 

But his principal works were the monuments he de- 
signed of the heroes of the war, for St. Paul's Cathedral. 
One to Lord Cornwallis in the nave (opposite to Flaxman's 
Nelson) is a pyramidal group, the Marquis on a pedestal 
forming the apex ; below him three allegorical figures of 
Britannia, Begareth, and Ganges, impersonations of the 
British empire in the East. Another to Lord Heathfield, 
is a single figure, with an alto-relievo on the pedestal, of 
Victory coming to crown a warrior on the sea-shore with 
laurel. Near this is a monument to Captain Faulkner, 
E.N., killed on board the Blanche frigate in 1795, in 
which Neptune is represented sitting on a rock catching. 



CH. IX.] ROSSI MAECHANT WESTMACOTT 379 

the dying sailor, and Victory about to crown him with 
laurel. In the north transept is a monument to Lord 
Eodney, a pyramidal group, the Admiral forming the 
apex, and beneath him Fame communicating his deeds to 
History. In ah 1 of these Eossi followed the taste of the 
period in which he lived, when mythology was blended 
with fact, and the simplicity of truth sacrificed to the 
classic allusions to heathen gods and goddesses, which 
was then thought not incongruous even in a Christian 
temple, but which certainly would now be felt to be in- 
consistent, and a violation of good taste. 

In 1798 Eossi was elected an Associate, and in 1802 a 
Eoyal Academician. The Prince Eegent appointed him 
sculptor to his Eoyal Highness, and employed him in 
decorating Buckingham Palace. He was subsequently 
nominated sculptor to William IV. ; but in his latter 
years he found little occupation in his profession, and was 
left to depend chiefly upon the pension which he received 
from the Eoyal Academy. He was twice married, and 
had eight children by each wife. He died on the 21st 
February, 1839. 

NATHANIEL MAECHANT, E.A., born in 1739, was 
elected an Associate in 1791, and a Eoyal Academician 
in 1809. He was also a Fellow of the Society of Arts, 
gem sculptor to the Prince of Wales, seal engraver to the 
King, chief engraver of stamps, and assistant engraver to 
the mint. He exhibited a large number of intaglios, 
medals, and poetical designs for cameos at the Eoyal 
Academy, and was very eminent in the branch of art he 
followed. He died, much respected, at Somerset Place, 
Strand, in April 1816, in his 77th year. 

Sir EICHAED WESTMACOTT, E.A., was born in London 
in 1775, and was the son of a sculptor of some eminence 
in his day. In his father's studio, in Mount Street, 
Grosvenor Square, he first learnt his art, and in 1793 



380 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. IX. 

went to Eome, where he had the advantage of being 
taught by Canova, and soon proved that he was a careful 
and intelligent student. In 1791, he won the first prize 
for sculpture at the Academy of Florence, of which he 
was elected a member in 1795, and in the latter year he 
gained the first gold medal from the Academy of St. Luke 
for a bas-relief of ' Joseph and his Brethren,' the prize 
being offered by the Pope. He remained about five years 
in Italy, and on his return to England married the 
daughter of Dr. Wilkinson, and commenced a very 
prosperous career in London, at 14 South Audley Street, 
not far from the residence of his father. 

The arrangement of the Townleian marbles in the 
then new building of the British Museum (old Montague 
House) was superintended by* the young sculptor, a proof 
that his taste and judgment were at that time publicly 
recognised. His imaginative works were exceedingly 
graceful and chaste, poetic in character, and classic in 
feeling ; and will be regarded as among the best of their 
class produced by modern English sculptors. He fol- 
lowed the old Eoman artists in their purity and simplicity 
of style, approaching almost to severity, rejecting all 
superfluous ornaments, and endeavouring even in his 
imaginative subjects to be natural rather than ideal. His 
knowledge of what constitutes the highest qualities of 
art, led him to seek to be chaste, dignified, and impressive 
in his works, rather than to aim at the highest points of 
grandeur and beauty. In this style are ' Cupid and 
Pysche,' executed for the Duke of Bedford, and now at 
Woburn ; ' Euphrosyne,' a commission from the Duke of 
Newcastle ; ' A Nymph unclasping her Zone,' the property 
of the Earl of Carlisle ; * The Distressed Mother ' (a 
duplicate of the monument to Mrs. Warren), executed for 
the Marquis of Lansdowne; 4 A Sleeping Infant,' 'Devo- 
tion,' ' A Gipsy,' ' Cupid captive,' and many others less 
celebrated. 

A large portion of his time was occupied in monu- 



CH. IX.] SIR K. WESTMACOTT 881 

mental sculpture. In Westminster Abbey are statues by 
him of Pitt, Fox, Spencer Percival, and Addison ; and 
monuments to the Duke of Montpensier, General Villettes, 
and Mrs. Warren (widow of the Bishop of Bangor) and 
her child the last a very fine and touching representa- 
tion, which has been twice repeated for private individuals. 
In St. Paul's are monuments to Sir Ealph Abercromby, 
Lord Denman, Lord Collingwood, Captain Cook. Sir Isaac 
Brock, and Generals Pakenharn and Gibbs, from his hand. 
In the old hall of Lincoln's Inn, is a statue of Lord 
Erskine, by Westmacott, one of Locke in University 
College, and of Warren Hastings in the Cathedral of 
Calcutta. Several of our street monuments were also 
executed by him, as the statue of Fox in Bloomsbury 
Square ; Francis, Duke of Bedford, in Eussell Square ; 
and the Duke of York for the Column in Waterloo Place. 
He modelled the 'Achilles,' in Hyde Park, from the 
statue at Monte Cavallo, Eome : the pediment of the 
British Museum was also his work, and portions of the 
frieze of the marble arch now at Cumberland Gate, Hyde 
Park ; the last being undertaken conjointly with Flaxman 
and Baily. An alto-relievo exhibited in 1825, entitled 
' The afflicted Peasants ; ' a group in Bronze, ' The Abo- 
lition of the Suttee,' for the pedestal to a statue of Lord 
W. Bentinck ; a basso-relievo exhibited in 1820, entitled 
'Maternal Affection,' part of a monument erected in 
Hurst Church, Berks, to the memory of a lady ; and a 
similar ornament to the pedestal of a statue of Addison, 
representing 'The Muses,' are especially deserving of 
commendation among his works of that nature. 

Westmacott was elected an Associate in 1805, and a 
Koyal Academician in 1811, when he presented, as his 
diploma work, an alto-relievo of Ganymede. In 1827 
he succeeded Flaxman as Professor of Sculpture, an office 
he held till his death. His lectures, which he continued 
to deliver annually till 1854, evinced that he was a man 
of extensive reading and sound judgment. In them he 



382 HISTOKY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. IK. 

set forth, in simple yet forcible language, the knowledge 
he had acquired by the study of the antique, and by the 
truth and earnestness of his discourses, rather than by 
any display of eloquence, he gained the attention of the 
students. He received the honour of knighthood from 
her Majesty soon after her accession to the throne, and 
the degree of D.C.L., from the University of Oxford, in 
1837. He died at his residence in South Audley Street, 
on the 1st of September, 1856, in his 83rd year. For 
twenty years before his death he did very little in his 
profession, but before that time he had spent a life of great 
activity, he and Chantrey having for a long period divided 
the patronage of the public in their branch of art between 
them. His son succeeded him as Professor of Sculpture at 
the Koyal Academy, in July 1857. 

WILLIAM THEED, E.A.,was born in 1764. He entered 
the schools of the Eoyal Academy as a student in 1786, 
and at first practised as a painter of historical subjects and 
occasionally of portraits. Subsequently he proceeded to 
Eome, where he remained for several years, enjoying and 
profiting by the friendship of John Flaxman the sculptor, 
and Henry Howard the talented Secretary of the Eoyal 
Academy. The refined tastes of these companions led 
him to turn his attention to the imitation of the classic 
models by which he was surrounded in Italy. At 
Naples he met and married a French lady named Eougeot, 
with whom he travelled through France, on his way back 
to England, during the Eevolution of 1793. 

Arrived in this country, he commenced his new artistic 
career by designing and modelling, as Flaxman had pre- 
viously done, for the Messrs. Wedgwood, the famous 
Staffordshire potters. After some years thus spent, he 
subsequently obtained an engagement to design for 
Messrs. Eundell and Bridge, the jewellers, for whom he 
constructed the models for presentation works in gold, 
silver, &c. They allowed him a house, and a very hand- 



CH. IX.] ' THEED CHANTREY 383 

some salary during the fourteen years in which he 
remained in their employment. 

In 1811 he was elected an Associate, and in 1813 
became a Eoyal Academician. On the last-named 
occasion he presented as his diploma work, ' A Baccha- 
nalian Group,' in bronze. He produced several very 
interesting and creditable works in sculpture during the 
last few years of his career ; among them a large statue 
of ' Mercury,' a group of ' Thetis bearing the arms of 
Achilles,' in bronze, life size (the original of which is in 
the possession of her Majesty, and a repetition of it in the 
collection of Mr. Hope) ; a very beautiful monument of 
Mr. Westphaling, in the parish church of Eoss, Hereford- 
shire ; and many other monuments displaying both chaste 
design and skilful execution. 

He died in 1817, when only in his 53rd year, much 
respected by all who knew him, and leaving a small 
fortune for the education of his three children. One of 
these, William Theed, is now practising as a sculptor, 
and has attained to considerable eminence in his profes- 
sion, having been largely employed by the late Prince 
Consort and her Majesty, and by other distinguished 
art-patrons. 

Sir FRANCIS CHANTKEY,E. A., was born on the 7th of April, 
1781, at Norton, near Sheffield. His father, who cultivated 
a small property of his own, died when he was a child of 
eight years old, and his mother married again, and em- 
ployed her son, it is said, to drive an ass laden with milk- 
cans to the neighbouring town. His step-father placed him 
with a grocer, but he displayed such a strong predilection 
for carving, that he was afterwards bound apprentice to 
Mr. Eamsay, a carver and gilder, at Sheffield ; finding that 
such work afforded little scope for his taste for real art- 
workmanship, he employed all his leisure time in model- 
ling in clay, and at length made an offer of 50 (the 
whole amount of his wealth) as compensation to his 



884 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. IX. 

master for the remainder of the term of his apprentice- 
ship, and came to London to study as a sculptor. In 
1802 he returned to Sheffield to commence business in 
his new profession, but he made no progress towards 
acquiring either fame or fortune tiU 1809, when he 
received an order from Mr. Daniel Alexander, the archi- 
tect, for four colossal busts of Howe, Nelson, St. Vincent, 
and Duncan, for the Trinity House and the Greenwich 
Naval Asylum. In the same year he married his cousin, 
Miss Wale, with whom he received 10,000, and was 
thus enabled to establish himself in his profession. During 
the eight previous years he had not gained 5 as a 
modeller, but he painted portraits in oil, crayon, and 
miniature, and worked as a carver in wood, and so earned 
a subsistence. 

In 1808 he exhibited a model of a head of ' Satan ' at 
the Eoyal Academy. From this period he was untiring 
in his efforts, and continually successful. He had pre- 
viously tried his fortune at Edinburgh and Dublin, and 
owed his fame in London to JSTollekens, who was so struck 
with his bust of J. Eaphael % Smith, sent to the Eoyal 
Academy Exhibition in 1806, that he exclaimed, " It is a 
splendid work ; let the man be known, remove one of 
my busts, and put this in its place." Subsequently the 
prosperous sculptor did all he could to advance the young 
artist's interest, but his own genius soon ensured him 
employment. Among his earliest works were a monu- 
ment to the Eev. J. Wilkinson, Vicar of Sheffield, and 
another to the daughter of Mr. Jones of Hafod. His bust 
of Home Tooke led to much employment in the same 
style, and his busts of the Marquis of Anglesea, Earl 
St. Vincent, Sir Joseph Banks, John Watt, and Lady 
Gertrude Sloan e, followed, besides commissions for a 
statue of George III. for the Council Chamber of Guild- 
hall, and of President Blair at Edinburgh. 

In 1816 he was chosen an Associate of the Eoyal 
Academy, and in the following year appeared the exqui- 



CH. IX.] SIR F. CHANTREY 385 

site group of ' The Sleeping Children' (the daughters of the 
Eev. W. Eobinson), the monument in Lichfield Cathedral, 
which is universally admired as the beau-ideal of artless 
beauty and innocent and unaffected grace. This work 
and the statue exhibited in 1818, of Lady Louisa Eussell 
(a child on tiptoe, pressing a dove to her bosom), now at 
Woburn Abbey, were both executed from the designs of 
Stothard. In 1818, Chantrey became a Eoyal Acade- 
mician, and presented as his diploma work a marble bust 
of the President, Benjamin West. In 1819 he proceeded 
to Italy, where he was elected a member of the Academies 
of Eome and Florence. Twice previously he had visited 
the Continent, after the Peace of Amiens, and after the 
Battle of Waterloo. 

From this period orders crowded in upon him beyond 
his power to execute, and his future life was employed in 
executing one continued series of monumental works, as 
he rarely attempted poetic pieces, except those we have 
already mentioned, and two bas-reliefs from Homer, re- 
presenting ' The Parting of Hector and Andromache,' and 
4 Penelope with the Bow of Ulysses.' In bronze, he 
executed statues of William Pitt, erected in Hanover 
Square ; Sir Thomas Munro, at Madras ; George IV., at 
Brighton and at Edinburgh ; and of the Duke of Wel- 
lington, at the Eoyal Exchange. In marble, there are 
statues by him of Francis Horner, Sir T. S. Eaffles, Geo. 
Canning, Eev. E. F. Sutton, and Sir J. Malcolm, in West- 
minster Abbey; Washington, at Boston, U.S.; Spencer 
Percival, at Northampton ; James Watt, at Aston Church, 
Birmingham; Sir E. H. East and Bishop Heber, at 
Calcutta ; Canning, in the Liverpool Town Hall ; M. S. 
Elphinstone and Sir C. Forbes, at Bombay ; Bishop Eyder, 
at Lichfield ; and Bishop Bathurst, at Norwich. Among 
his numerous busts were George IV., William IV., and 
Queen Victoria ; Lord Castlereagh, Canning, Lord Mel- 
bourne, Sir E. Peel, and the Duke of Wellington ; Sir W. 
Scott, Wordsworth, Southey, and J. Eennie. 

VOL. i. c c 



386 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. IX. 

When he first acquired celebrity, he charged 100 
guineas for a bust, then 150, till 1822, when the price 
was raised to 200. Subsequently he modelled a bust of 
George IV., when the King wished him to increase the 
price, and insisted that the bust of himself should not 
return to the artist a less sum than 300 guineas. Chantrey 
was celebrated for catching the expression of his sitters, 
and sought to portray the emotions of the mind as 
well as the form of the features. He treated the unpic- 
turesque modern costume with the least possible injury 
to the proportions of the human figure ; and the fleshy, 
pulpy appearance he gave to the marble was very striking 
and effective. His criticisms on his art, and on painting, 
were judicious and valuable ; simplicity and breadth were 
the characteristics he especially sought and admired ; and 
the circumstance of his sometimes touching upon Con- 
stable's pictures, and telling that great painter that he 
might work upon his busts, illustrates the sympathy in 
taste and style between the two artists. 

He died from disease of the heart, from which he had 
been suffering for years, on the 25th of November, 1841, 
and was buried in a vault constructed by himself in the 
church of his native place, Norton. To the clergyman of 
that parish he bequeathed 200 per annum, " so long as 
his tomb shall last, to instruct ten poor boys, and to pay 
10 to five poor men and five poor women of the parish 
selected by him, the residue to go to him for his trouble." 
In private life, Chantrey was generous, humane, and 
charitable, keeping up the most hearty friendship with 
his brother Academicians, and able to adapt himself to 
the highest as well as the simplest society. He was liberal 
to all his professional brethren, and often encouraged 
tneir efforts by purchasing their productions. In 1837 he 
received the honour of knighthood from her Majesty. 
In 1849 Mr. George Jones, E.A., published an interesting 
notice of him, entitled, " Sir Francis Chantrey : Eecollec- 
tions of his Life, Practice, and Opinions." 



CH. IX.] SIR F. CHANTREY 387 

By his will lie left the reversion of a portion of his 
property, at the death or second marriage of his wife, at 
the disposal, under certain restrictions, of the President 
and Council of the Eoyal Academy, for the promotion of 
British fine arts, in painting and sculpture, including an 
annuity of 300 for the President, and 50 for the 
Secretary, payable on the 1st of January in each year. 
The interest of the residue is to be laid out in the pur- 
chase of the works of fine art of the highest merit in 
painting and sculpture that can be obtained, either already 
executed or which may hereafter be executed by artists 
of any nation, resident in Great Britain when they were 
completed. All purchases must be bond-fide purchases 
of finished works, no commissions may be given to artists 
to execute them, and they must be publicly exhibited for 
at least one month at the annual exhibition of the Eoyal 
Academy. Chantrey's design was thus to form and 
establish a "public national collection of British Fine Arts, 
in Painting and Sculpture;" but he expressly stipulates 
that no part of the money shall be expended in providing 
a gallery for their reception, as he expected the nation to 
supply one free of charge upon his estate. Lady Chantrey, 
however, so long as she remains a widow, has a life-interest 
in his residuary personal estate, which is estimated at 
about 2500 per annum, vested in five trustees, including 
the President and Treasurer of the Eoyal Academy. In 
addition to this noble gift, Chantrey left to his principal 
assistant, Allan Cuningham, 2000, and a life annuity of 
100 to him or his widow ; also a bequest of 1000 to 
Henry Weekes, his assistant, in each case on the condition 
that they completed his unfinished works before they 
resigned their offices. 

Lady Chantrey still survives. She presented the original 
models of the entire series of Sir Francis Chantrey's busts 
(a very valuable collection of eminent contemporary por- 
traits), the greater part of his monumental figures, and 
his studies from the antique, to the University of Oxford, 

c c 2 



388 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. IX. 

on the condition that a permanent position should be 
assigned to them in the Taylor Buildings, where they are 
now placed, in the Western Sculpture Gallery. 

Of the two AKCHITECTS elected during West's Presi- 
dentship, we must first speak of that remarkable man, Sir 
JOHX SOANE, E.A., who rose to eminence and riches from 
a very humble beginning. The real name of his family 
was Swan. His father was a bricklayer or small 
builder at Eeading, where he was born on the 10th Sep- 
tember, 1753. Dance, the architect, employed him at 
first as an errand boy or attendant, and afterwards placed 
him on the rank of a pupil. His sister was also a servant 
in Dance's family. He subsequently studied with Holland, 
an architect of some position, and remained with him till 
1776. He became a student at the Eoyal Academy in 
1771, and five years afterwards obtained the gold medal 
for a design for ' a Triumphal Bridge,' which was based, 
in a great measure, upon that made by Thomas Sandby, 
to illustrate one of his lectures on Architecture at 
the Academy. At the recommendation of Sir William 
Chambers, he was sent to Italy with the allowance 
granted for three years to travelling students. An octavo 
volume of " Designs for Temples, Baths, &c.," previously 
drawn by him, was published in 1778, after he had left 
England, which sadly detracted from the good opinion 
entertained of his abilities, many of them being designed 
in wretched taste, and all of them being characterised by 
that littleness of manner, and those whims and fancies 
which distinguished more or less all his after works. 
His name was spelt " Scan " in this book, and at a later 
period he took great pains to buy up all the copies which 
were then in circulation. 

During his stay in Italy he studied all the ancient 
buildings, and made some original designs for a Senate 
House and a Eoyal Palace. Mr. Thomas Pitt, afterwards 
Lord Camelford, met him in Italy, and obtained for him 



CH. IX.] SIR JOHN SOANE 389 

the appointment of architect to the Bank of England, on 
the death of Sir Eobert Taylor. In 1788 he published 
a volume of plans and elevations of several country 
mansions designed by him, in which great pains are 
taken to attend to the conveniences of the interior 
arrangements, but little taste or invention is displayed 
in regard to the general design. By his marriage with 
Miss Smith, the niece of George Wyatt, a wealthy builder 
in the city, he became, on his wife's uncle's death, the 
owner of a very considerable fortune. Subsequently he 
succeeded to several lucrative appointments clerk of the 
works at St. James's Palace in 1791 ; architect to the 
Woods and Forests in 1795 ; and Surveyor to Chelsea 
Hospital in 1807. 

He was elected an Associate in 1795, and E.A. in 
1802 ; and was Professor of Architecture at the Eoyal 
Academy from 1806 till his death. A variety of public 
and private buildings engaged his attention during several 
years, in all of which a great want of unity of design 
and purpose was conspicuous, arising apparently from a 
constant effort at originality, experiments in parts, and 
successes in details, which left the whole incongruous ; 
while there were serious defects and omissions in other 
parts. The north-west corner of the Bank of England is 
his best work, and far surpasses all the rest of his per- 
formances. In this work he applied the Tivoli-Corinthian 
style, which he was the first to introduce into this country. 
He possessed great ingenuity and contrivance, and suc- 
ceeded especially in perspective effects, depending upon 
interior arrangements and minute details; but he never 
carried out the idea on a definite plan, so as to give unity 
to the whole work. 

In 1828 he published a series of folio plates of designs 
for public and private buildings, to record his labours 
as an architect; and in 1832 he issued a description of the 
house he erected in Lincoln's Inn Fields, which is full of 
objects of interest, but is a strange jumble of oddities 



390 HISTOHY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. IX. 

and eccentricities. He commenced the formation of the 
museum of antiquities, the collection of pictures, and the 
library in 1812, and spent large sums upon them during 
the remainder of his life. By success in his profession, 
and the property he obtained in right of his wife, he 
became a wealthy man ; and late in life he had a serious 
and bitter quarrel with his only surviving son, who ex- 
cited his father's anger by writing a severe criticism on 
his works in one of the periodicals of the day. Many 
persons, knowing that Sir John Soane had vowed that he 
would disinherit his son, hoped to obtain a share of his 
property ; but in 1833 he obtained an Act of Parliament 
vesting his museum, library, &c. in trustees, for the use of 
the public after his death, limiting admission to two days 
a week for three months of the year, by tickets issued by 
the curator, an officer to be nominated by the Eoyal 
Academy, to reside on the premises, with an income pro- 
vided out of the funds bequeathed by Sir J. Soane, for 
its preservation and management. l 

The formation of this museum was the amusement of 
the chief portion of a lifetime, and cost upwards of 
50,000. There are Egyptian, Greek, and Eoman 
antiquities, sculptures and gems, rare books and manu- 
scripts, architectural models, and several valuable pictures ; 
among them, Soane's portrait by Lawrence; the famous 
' Snake in the Grass,' by Eeynolds ; the series of pictures of 
' The Eake's Progress,' and ' The March to Finchley,' by 
Hogarth ; a fine work by Canaletti, and others by Turner, 
Fuseli, CaUcott, Eastlake, &c. The house must be seen to 
be understood ; for cabinets, recesses, ceilings, and walls, 
doing double duty by moveable planes, are all covered and 
full of articles ingeniously arranged ; and these are found 
in little monk's parlours, crypts, courts, recesses, cata- 



1 Mr. Bailey was the first curator Academy from among the candidates 

thus appointed, and in 1861, on that who then offered themselves for the 

gentleman's death, Mr. Joseph office, to succeed him. 
Bonomi was selected by the Royal 



CH. EX.] SIR ROBERT SMIRKE 391 

conibs, and other apartments as fantastic in shape as in 
name. 

In 1831 Soane was offered a baronetage, but refused it, 
purposely that his son might not even inherit an empty 
title from liim : he, however, accepted the honour of 
knighthood for himself. His health and faculties re- 
mained unimpaired until the day of his death, which 
occurred rather suddenly at his house in Lincoln's Inn 
Fields, on the 20th January, 1837. He was buried at St. 
Giles's burial-ground in the Old St. Pancras Eoad, where 
two tall cypress-trees mark the site of his grave. 

Sir EGBERT SMIRKE, E.A., is the eldest son of Eobert 
Sniirke, E.A., and the brother of Sydney Smirke, E.A. 
He was born in 1780, and received from his father a 
careful training in the knowledge of art. He did not 
choose painting, however, but architecture as his especial 
study ; and entered the Schools of the Eoyal Academy in 
1796, where he obtained the gold medal in 1799 for his 
design for "a National Gallery for Painting," &c. He 
subsequently made a tour in Italy, Sicily, Greece, and 
Germany, from which he returned in 1805. The first- 
fruits of this journey were the " Specimens of Conti- 
nental Architecture," published in folio, in 1806, and his 
contributions to Donaldson's " Antiquities of Athens " and 
other works, giving the results of his investigations into 
the remains of ancient art. 

While still a very young man he had opportunities (by 
the aid of influential friends and patrons) of displaying 
the talents he possessed, which rarely fall to the lot of 
genius. His first work as an architect was Covent 
Garden Theatre, the most important specimen of the 
Grecian-Doric style which had then been erected in the 
metropolis. There was a large tetra-style Doric portico, 
ornamented with sculptures in relief by Flaxman. The 
interior was altered in 1847 to adapt it for the Italian 
Opera ; and the whole was destroyed by fire on the 5th of 



392 HISTORY OF TIIE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. IX. 

March, 1856. His next work of importance was the 
Mint, erected in 1811, in the same style, but with a rusti- 
cated basement. It is a neat, unpretending, but sub- 
stantial-looking pile of three stories, having a centre with 
attached columns supporting a pediment and wings. A 
more imposing work is the General Post Office in St. 
Martin's-le-Grand, commenced in 1823, and finished in 
1829. It is in the Grecian-Ionic style, making little 
pretensions to architectural display, except on the side 
facing the main street, where there are three porticoes, 
one at each end of four columns, and a centre one of six 
columns, surmounted by a pediment, all of the Ionic 
order. While this work was in progress he also erected, 
in the same style, the College of Physicians and the 
Union Club at Trafalgar Square. The club-house belong- 
ing to the United Service in Charles Street, Eegent Street, 
was designed by him ; but being subsequently sold for the 
use of the Junior United Service Club, it was recently 
altered to a design of a less sombre character. 

In 1830-31 he was employed at the Inner Temple, 
extending King's Bench walk in the Grecian style, and 
completing the library in the Gothic. Subsequently he 
erected King's College as the east wing of Somerset 
House. The restoration of York Minster, after the fire 
of 1829, was conducted under his superintendence, and 
is his chief work in the Gothic style. The Carlton Club 
was completed by him in 1834, a pseudo-classic structure, 
which being heavy and unattractive, was subsequently 
removed to give place to the present very striking and 
ornamental design by his brother Sydney. In connexion 
with him, he designed the Oxford and Cambridge Club, 
completed in 1838, the most ornamental of any of his 
works. 

While all these buildings were in progress, another more 
important one was making slow progress towards com- 
pletion. This was the British Museum, one of the largest 
architectural works of the present century. It was com- 



CH. IX.] SIR ROBERT SMIRKE 393 

menced in 1823, but from various causes the portico was 
not completed till 1847. It is of the Greek-Ionic order, 
carried out externally with great severity, but one of the 
most imposing Grecian structures in the metropolis. The 
grand front is 370 feet long, consisting of a central por- 
tion with advanced wings. There are 44 columns in the 
fa9ade, 5 feet in diameter and 45 feet high, resting upon 
a stylobate 5^ feet high. Westmacott's alto-relievo group 
fills up the tympanum of the pediment. There was an 
open quadrangle in the original design 320 by 240 feet, 
the greater part of which has since been filled up by the 
noble new reading-room and its connected buildings. 
Much difference of opinion has been expressed as to the 
suitability of the building for its purposes, but with the 
exception of some few internal arrangements which are 
considered defective, it possesses the dignity and simplicity 
suited to the objects of a public museum of archaeology 
and natural history ; and in many of its apartments, both 
as to size, height, and lighting, admirably fulfils its 
purpose. 

In 1808 Sir Eobert Srnirke became an Associate, and 
in 1811 was elected a Eoyal Academician. His diploma 
work was a view of ' The Eestoration of the Acropolis of 
Athens.' He was appointed Treasurer in 1820, and held 
the office till 1850. He resigned his position as an Acade- 
mician on 20th of May, 1859, finding that age and infirmity 
rendered it necessary that he should retire from his pro- 
fession, and that he was no longer able to fulfil the duties 
of his position in the Academy with the energy and 
activity he felt they required. His brother Sydney suc- 
ceeded to the seat which he vacated. Sir Kobert was one 
of the architects of the Board of Works and Public 
Buildings, until the office was abolished in 1831, when 
the honour of knighthood was conferred upon him in 
acknowledgment of his past services. 

The forty members who during the period in which 



394 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. IX. 

Benjamin West presided over the Academy, were elected 
to fill the vacancies existing in the ranks of the Acade- 
micians, were no unworthy successors (as we think the 
preceding outlines of their several lives will have shown), 
of the original members who established the Academy 
under Sir Joshua Eeynolds, and of those who were after- 
wards associated with him during his presidentship over 
the institution. 



395 



CHAPTEE X. 

ASSOCIATES ELECTED DURING THE PRESIDENTSHIP OF BEN- 
JAMIN WEST, WHO DID NOT SUBSEQUENTLY BECOME ROYAL 
ACADEMICIANS. 

Painters : J. DowifMAir, G. GARRARD, T. CLARKE, A. J. OLIVER, S. DRTTM- 
MOND, G. ARNALD, W. WESTAXL, G. F. JOSEPH, W. ALLSTON. 

Architect: J. GANDT. 

Associate Engravers : A. SMITH, J. FITTLER, J. LANDSEER, W. WARD, 
W. BROMLEY. 

THE younger artists enlisted into the ranks of the 
Academy as associates during West's presidentship, 
have now to be noticed. Among those of this class who 
did not afterwards attain the higher grade of Eoyal 
Academician (15 in number) there were 9 painters, 1 
architect, and 5 associate engravers. The painters were 
John Downman, elected in 1795 ; George Garrard, in 
1800; Theophilus Clarke, in 1803; A. J. Oliver, in 
1807 ; S. Drummond, in 1808 ; G. Arnald, in 1810 ; 
W. Westell, in 1812 ; G. F. Joseph, in 1813 ; and 
W. Allston, in 1818. The only architect was Joseph 
Gandy, elected in 1803. The engravers were Anker 
Smith, elected in 1797 ; J. Fittler, in 1800 ; John 
Landseer, in 1806 ; W. Ward, in 1814 ; and W. Bromley, 
in 1819. 

JOHN DOWNMAN, A.E.A., was a student at the Eoyal 
Academy in 1769, and became an Associate in 1795. 
He devoted himself chiefly to portrait and miniature 
painting, but frequently exhibited pictures of fancy sub- 
jects, such as 'The Death of Lucretia,' 'The Priestess 



396 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. X. 

of Bacchus,' ' Tobias,' ' Fair Kosamond,' ' The Eeturn of 
Orestes,' ' Duke Eobert,' ' Bacchante,' &c. He was a 
large and constant contributor during many years to the 
exhibitions of the Academy, and was a man of very 
superior abilities and qualities of heart. He died at 
Wrexham, North Wales, on the 24th of December, 1824, 
and left a large collection of his works to his only 
daughter. 

GEOEGE GAEEAED, A.E.A., was born on the 31st of 
May, 1760, became a student at the Academy in 1778, 
and was elected an Associate in 1800. He seems to 
have combined painting and sculpture in his practice ; 
for sometimes he was an exhibitor of pictures of horses 
and dogs, and landscapes, and at others of sculptured 
busts, bas-reliefs, and monuments. He died on the 8th 
of October, 1826, at Queen's Buildings, Brompton. 

THEOPHILUS CLAEKE, A.E.A., was born in 1776, and 
became a student at the Academy in 1793 ; he was 
elected an Associate in 1803. He occasionally exhi- 
bited a few fancy subjects, such as ' The Pensive Girl,' 
and ' The Lovers,' from Thomson's " Seasons ; " but his 
practice appears to have been chiefly confined to the paint- 
ing of portraits. It is not known when he died, but his 
name was erased from the list of Associates in 1832. 

AECHEE JAMES OLIVEE, A.E.A., was born in 1774, 
was admitted as a student at the Eoyal Academy in 1790, 
and became an Associate in 1807. He lived in New 
Bond Street, and practised there as a fashionable painter 
of portraits. He exhibited a large number of such works 
for several years at the Academy. In 1835 he was 
appointed Curator in the Painting School, but after- 
wards fell into ill-health, and was maintained principally 
by aid from the funds of the Academy until he died in 
1842. 



(r 



. a , /?, A ,, 



/ 



CH. X.] DRUMMON D ARNALD WESTALL 397 

SAMUEL DBUMMOND, A.E.A., was born in 1770, entered 
the schools of the Academy in 1791, and was elected an 
Associate in 1808. His principal occupation was portrait 
painting, but he also exhibited occasionally Scripture, 
classic, and fancy subjects, by the engravings from which 
he was favourably known to the public. He succeeded 
Oliver as Curator of the Painting School, and was fre- 
quently granted assistance from the funds of the Academy 
in the latter part of his life, although he continued to prac- 
tise his profession until his death in 1844. His portrait 
of Sir M. I. Brunei, and a miniature of Mrs. E. Fry, are 
in the National Portrait Gallery. 

GEOKGE AKNALD, A.E.A., was born in 1763, and was 
elected an Associate of the Eoyal Academy in 1810. He 
was afterwards appointed Landscape Painter to the Duke 
of Gloucester, and contributed to the exhibitions com- 
positions from nature, views of tranquil English scenery, 
and some French landscapes. He died at Pentonville 
on the 21st of November, 1841, in his 78th year. 

WILLIAM WESTALL, A.E.A., was a younger brother of 
the Eoyal Academician, Eichard Westall, and was born at 
Hertford, on the 12th of October, 1781. He studied 
under his brother, and in 1801, on the recommendation 
of West, was appointed draughtsman to the voyage of 
discovery undertaken by Captain Flinders in the " In- 
vestigator." He was thus employed for two years, until 
the ship was abandoned, when he was transferred to 
its companion, the " Porpoise," in which he was wrecked 
on a coral reef on the north coast of Australia. He 
was picked up by a ship bound for China, where he 
remained some months, and then made his way to 
India, visiting the interior to sketch the most remark- 
able scenes he met with in that country. On his re- 
turn to England he failed to obtain adequate employ- 
ment, and again set sail, this time for Madeira and 



398 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. X. 

the West India Islands. In 1808 he returned to exhibit 
his collection of water-colour drawings, but the result did 
not answer his expectations. After the return of Captain 
Flinders, the Government gave Westall directions to pre- 
pare his sketches for engraving with the published account 
of the voyage, and he also received commissions to paint 
several views in Australia. Some of these novel scenes 
attracted considerable attention when exhibited at the 
Eoyal Academy in 1812, the year in which he became an 
Associate, having been previously elected a member of 
the Water-Colour Society. 

For several years after this period he devoted his time 
exclusively to drawing for engravers, and thus acquired 
a neatness of style which spoiled the effect of his paint- 
ings on a large scale. Among his chief works, those 
representing the scenery of the English lakes are the 
most attractive. In that charming locality he obtained 
the friendship of the " lake poets " Southey and Words- 
worth. He also drew and engraved in aquatinta views of 
monastic ruins in Yorkshire, Oxford, Cambridge, &c. 
Latterly he painted very little in oil-colours, and contri- 
buted very few works to the Eoyal Academy. In 1847 
he met with an accident, breaking his arm, and injuring 
himself internally, from the consequences of which he 
never perfectly recovered. He died on the 22nd of 
January, 1850. 

GEOEGE FEANCIS JOSEPH, A.E.A., was born on the 
25th of November, 1764, and became a student at the 
Eoyal Academy in 1784. In 1792 he gained the gold 
medal for the best historical painting of the year, the 
subject being a scene from. " Coriolanus ; " and in 1812 
he was awarded a premium of 100 guineas by the 
British Institution for his picture of ' The Procession to 
Mount Calvary.' He was elected an Associate in 1813. 
Subsequently he established himself in his profession as a 
portrait-painter in oils, and found full employment in this 



CH. X.] WASHINGTON ALLSTON 399 

department of art. His portraits of the Eight Hon. 
Spencer Perceval and of Sir Stamford Baffles are in the 
National Portrait Gallery. He also painted fancy pictures 
from Shakspeare, &c. He resided in Percy Street, Bed- 
ford Square, and died in 1846. 

WASHINGTON ALLSTON, A.E.A., was a native of America, 
and was born in South Carolina in 1780. In 1796 he 
entered Harvard College, and in 1801 came to England 
to study painting at the Eoyal Academy. In 1804 he 
went to Paris, and thence to Eome, where he stayed four 
years, astonishing the artists there by his peculiar effects 
in colour, obtained by an extensive use of asphaltum, 
after the manner of Eembrandt. In 1809 he went back 
to America, and at Boston married the sister of Dr. 
Channing. He came to England in 1811, and obtained 
a prize of 200 guineas from the British Institution for 
his picture, painted in 1812, of 'The Dead Man raised 
by touching Elisha's Bones,' which was afterwards bought 
for 3500 dollars by the Pennsylvania Academy of Arts. 
West praised this picture highly, saying that it reminded 
him of the highest schools of art of the sixteenth century. 
Allston's wife died in 1813, which affected him deeply, 
and his own health became very delicate. The next 
year he published " Hints to Young Practitioners in the 
Study of Landscape Painting." In company with C. E. 
Leslie he again visited Paris in 1817, and was chosen an 
Associate of the Eoyal Academy in 1818, in which year 
he was also awarded a premium of 150 guineas by the 
British Institution for his picture of 'The Angel Uriel.' 
From this time until his death, which occurred at Cam- 
bridgeport, a village of Massachusetts, on the 9th of 
June, 1843, he resided in great seclusion in his native 
country, devoting himself to elegant studies in literature 
as well as to painting ; hence his works are little known 
in England, as for many years he never contributed a 
single picture to the Eoyal Academy. He was long held 



400 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. X. 

in affectionate remembrance, however, by many friends in 
this country, and among them, by Coleridge, who said of 
him that he was gifted with an artistic and poetic genius 
unsurpassed by any man of his age. Leslie held him in 
great regard, and describes him as " a most amiable and 
polished gentleman, and a painter of the purest taste." 
In the Egremont Collection at Petworth are 'Jacob's 
Dream,' and ' Elisha ; ' Mr. Labouchere possesses ' Elisha 
in the Desert,' and the Duke of Sutherland ' Uriel.' His 
works are characterised by great imagination, a thorough 
knowledge of perspective, and of the use of light and 
shade. Many years ago he published a volume of poems, 
and about two years before his death an Italian romance 
entitled " Monalde." A folio volume of engravings, from 
the graceful and elegant sketches found in his studio after 
his death, was published soon afterwards in Boston, U.S. 

JOSEPH GANDY, A.E.A., was the only architect added to 
the list of Associates during West's presidentship. He 
became a student in 1789, was awarded the gold medal 
in 1790, for his architectural design for a ' Triumphal 
Arch,' and was elected an Associate in 1803. He was 
an elder brother of Mr. J. P. Gandy Deering, also an 
architect, but whose practice was limited to a short period, 
as he became possessed of a large property many years 
before his death. Joseph Gandy lived in Greek Street, 
Soho, and exhibited a large number of architectural 
designs and drawings at the Eoyal Academy. He died 
in 1844. 

The five Associate Engravers remain to be noticed. 
These were : 

ANKEK SMITH, A.E., who was born in London in 1759, 
and educated at Merchant Taylor's School. He was 
articled, in 1777, to his uncle, Mr. John Toole, an attorney 
(a brother of the translator of Tasso and Ariosto), in 



CH. X.] ANKER SMITH J. FITTLER 401 

* 

whose office he amused himself by copying line engrav- 
ings with a pen so admirably that James Heath mistook 
them for prints. He was persuaded by him to learn 
engraving ; and after receiving instruction for three years, 
1779-82, from an engraver named Taylor, he became 
Heath's assistant, and worked largely on the plates 
bearing that engraver's name, indeed the plate of the 
' Apotheosis of Handel,' signed by James Heath, is said 
to be entirely the work of Smith. In 1787 he was 
engaged to engrave the plates for Bell's edition of 
the "British Poets," the "British Theatre," Smirke's 
illustrations to "Don Quixote," and other small book- 
plates. At a later period, Boydell also employed him on 
the Shakspeare Gallery ; and one plate, the ' Death of 
Wat Tyler,' after Nbrthcote, was so much admired that 
it obtained for him the rank of Associate-Engraver in 
1797. He also engraved the plates for Wood's smaller 
Shakspeare, and for Coomb's works on the " Ancient 
Marbles and Terra Cottas in the British Museum." His 
larger works, after Titian, Carracci, and L. da Vinci, bear 
some resemblance to those of Bartolozzi, and his smaller 
ones are much esteemed for their beautiful execution and 
correct drawing. 

His private friends admired his simple piety, and correct 
taste and judgment. He married in 1791, and left a 
widow, four sons, and a daughter. His second son 
became a promising pupil of Chantrey's, but died when 
only thirty-eight ; the two younger ones became painters. 
One of his sisters was the mother of Sir Wm. C. Eoss, E.A. 
He died of apoplexy, in 1819. 

JAMES FITTLER, A.E., was born in London in 1758, and 
became a student at the Eoyal Academy in 1778. Besides 
book illustrations, he distinguished himself by numerous 
works after English and foreign masters, chiefly por- 
traits, busts, &c. He was appointed engraver to the 
King, and executed the plates for Forster's "British 

VOL. i. D D 



402 



HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. X. 



Antiquities, 
men's Seats, 
;nery of Scot- 
. oblong folio, 
1804. 



Gallery," many of those for Bell's " British Theatre," and 
all of those in Dr. Dibdin's "Aedes Althorpianse," pub- 
lished in 1822, since which time he undertook no im- 
portant work. His best engravings are 'Lord Howe's 
Victory ' and the ' Battle of the Nile,' both after De 
Loutherbourg, and the portrait of Benjamin West. He 
was elected an Associate-Engraver in 1800, and died in 
1835^ 

JOHN LANDSEER, A.E., the father of Thomas Landseer, 
the mezzotint-engraver, of Charles, the present Keeper of 
the Eoyal Academy, and of the eminent animal painter, 
Sir Edwin Landseer, was .born at Lincoln in 1769. His 
instructor in the art of engraving was John Byrne, a 
landscape engraver of much ability. As early as 1793, 
he attracted notice by some vignettes, he executed after 
De Loutherbourg, and by his line engravings for Bowyer's 
" History of England," and Moore's " Views in Scotland." 
He subsequently published a clever series of engravings 
of animals from the works of Eubens, Snyders, Gilpin, 
and other artists. He next turned his attention to the 
history of his art, and the position of its professors. In 
1806 he delivered a course of lectures at the Eoyal 
Institution, on " Engraving," which were published in the 
following year, and occasioned some controversy by the 
peculiar views expressed in them. 

In 1806 he was elected an Associate-Engraver of the 
Eoyal Academy ; and it is said that he only accepted the 
rank in order that he might be the better able to seek 
to remove the cause of contention, existing from the first 
formation of the Academy, in regard to the admission 
of engravers to full academic honours. As we have seen 
in a previous chapter, he addressed a memorial to the 
President and Council of the Eoyal Academy on the 
subject, 1 and, after a long discussion, found that he 

1 This document is printed at length in "Pye's Patronage of British Art," 
pp. 254-57. 



CH. X.] JOHN LANDSEER W. WARD 403 

could not obtain any alteration in the laws on the subject. 
From that time he seems to have indulged more in 
controversy on art than in the practice of it. He com- 
menced the publication of a periodical, which soon dis- 
appeared, and, at a later period, another, the " Probe," 
to oppose the "Art-Union Journal" in its early 
career, which failed, like its predecessor. In 1817 he 
communicated to the Society of Antiquaries a paper on 
"Engraved Gems brought from Babylon," which was 
printed in their Proceedings ; and he afterwards delivered 
a course of lectures on " Engraved Hieroglyphics," at the 
Eoyal Institution. In 1823 he published a volume, 
entitled " Sabaean Kesearches ; " and in 1834, a " Descrip- 
tive, Explanatory, and Critical Catalogue of the Earliest 
Pictures in the National Gallery," which was a discursive, 
amusing volume. 

He died on the 29th of February, 1852, in his 83rd 
year, and was buried in Highgate Cemetery. He lived to 
see his sons rise to eminence, and one of them to occupy 
a conspicuous place among the artists of Europe. One of 
Sir Edwin Landseer's early pictures, ' The Dogs of Mount 
St. Bernard,' was engraved by his father, and was one of 
his best works. 

WILLIAM WARD, A.E., was the elder brother of James 
Ward, E.A., the animal painter mentioned in the last 
chapter, and was his instructor for some time in his early 
career in art. William Ward was a mezzotinto engraver, 
and is chiefly known by his transcripts of the works of 
-George Morland, his brother-in-law. He engraved por- 
traits by Eeynolds, Jackson, and others, and copied also a 
few historical pictures. He was elected an Associate- 
Engraver in 1814, and held the appointment of Mezzotinto 
Engraver to the Prince Eegent and the Duke of York. 
He lived in Warren Street, Fitzroy Square, and died there, 
very suddenly, on the 1st of December, 1826. His son, 
William James Ward, followed his father's style, and 



404 HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY [On. X. 

excelled him in ability, although he displayed great skill 
in his profession. 

WILLIAM BROMLEY, A.E., was born at Carisbrooke, in 
the Isle of Wight, in 1769. He was apprenticed to an 
engraver named Wooding, in London, and soon attracted 

O O 7 7 

the notice of several eminent painters by his works. 
Among those whose esteem he won, were Fuseli, Stothard, 
Flaxman, and Sir Thomas Lawrence. Of his early pro- 
ductions, the most popular were the prints in lYEacklin's 
Bible, and his copies of Stothard's designs, illustrating a 
" History of England." He engraved, also, two of Law- 
rence's portraits of the Duke of Wellington, and one of 
young Napoleon. Of a different class is his print after 
Eubens, l The Woman taken in Adultery.' In 1819 he 
was elected an Associate-Engraver of the Eoyal Academy, 
and was also a Member of the Academy of St. Luke, at 
Eome. He was employed for many years by the trustees 
of the British Museum in engraving the ' Elgin Marbles,' 
from drawings 'made by Henry Corbould. His son, John 
Bromley, was also an eminent engraver in mezzotint, but 
died three years before his father, who survived till 1842. 



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